TAINAN, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A medical discovery made by a joint research team between National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in southern Taiwan, and University of Ottawa in Canada will help clinicians to better treat women with ovarian cancer, NCKU revealed.
The team has investigated into why ovarian cancer is often resistant to chemotherapy and identified a protein called gelsolin which plays a critical role in the chemo-resistance.
Conducted by distinguished professor Dr. Dar-Bin Shieh, NCKUH OB/GYN physicians Dr. Cheng-Yang Chou and Dr. Yu-Fang Huang and postdoctoral fellow Pei-Wen Wang, together with Dr. Benjamin Tsang of the University of Ottawa, the research was published in the September issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
According to Dr. Dar-Bin Shieh, though gelsolin was often studied for cellular motility and cytoskeleton re-arrangement in the past, none had thought to link it with cancer drug resistance.
They found that increased levels of gelsolin are associated with aggressive forms of ovarian cancer and are more likely to resist chemotherapy and lead to death.
Dr. Shieh noted that treatments for ovarian cancer are mainly surgical removal and chemotherapy. However, as the cancer developed toward its terminal stages under chemotherapy, it is prone to develop chemo-resistance later with a high probability for recurrence and death.
Both ovarian cancer patients’ sample and culturing cell lines indicate that a higher level of gelsolin expression predicts development of chemo-resistance and a higher chance of recurrence as well as mortality as compared to their counterparts exhibiting a lesser level.
The study concludes the level of gelsolin expression well predict chemo-resistance phenotype of ovarian cancer.
The critical unmet clinical needs in the failure of chemotherapy is derived from the conversion toward chemo-resistance, for which the team has now identified gelsolin to be responsible, Dr. Shieh said.
The short-term goal for future development, Dr. Shieh adds, is to develop a detection method to accurately predict ovarian cancer drug resistance potential, whilst the long-term aim is to develop effective anti-resistance strategy in ovarian cancers.
NCKU news: http://news-en.secr.ncku.edu.tw/bin/home.php