Better prognoses for bowel tumours on the way
A hormone that regulates hunger and body weight also increases small-bowel cancer mortality rates, as shown in a study at Linköping and Lund Universities.
The hormone in question is the CART (cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript) peptide, which is now being launched as a prognosis tool and possible target for anti-tumour treatment.
The study, presented in Clinical Cancer Research with Kalle Landerholm (pictured) as the principal author, shows that the more the CART peptide is present in the tumour, the worse the survival rate for patients with small-bowel carcinoid tumours.
Carcinoid tumours are the most common form in the small bowel. By the time one is discovered it has usually already spread to other parts of the body, but the patient can still survive for several years. It is difficult, however, to prognosticate the course of the disease with any certainty, since there are no good markers for survival.
Kalle Landerholm, is a surgeon at Ryhov County Hospital in Jönköping and an MD at Linköping University, he elaborates:
“This study is the first to show worse survival rates for patients with CART-producing tumours. In support of this we also see that CART increases the growth and vitality of cultured tumour cells.”
CART appears to be what is known as a brain-bowel peptide, which acts both as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system and as a hormone. In the brain it is believed to regulate eating and body weight, but also to be involved in the reward system and in stress response. In the digestive system, CART functions as a hormone that in turn regulates the release of other hormones, for example.
Expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript is associated with worse survival in small bowel carcinoid tumors by Kalle Landerholm, Liliya Shcherbina, Sture E. Falkmer, Johannes Järhult and Nils Wierup. Clinical Cancer Research, 1 July 2012.
Publications for Kalle Landerholm
LiU Electronic press
Last updated: 2013-05-30