A research team in Taiwan has identified cancer-initiating cells in KRASG12D mutant gene-induced lung adenocarcinoma, one of the most common types of lung cancer, which may contribute to the search for lung cancer treatments, Academia Sinica, the nation’s top research institute, said yesterday.
The institute said lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide and is also one of the most commonly diagnosed malignancies in developed countries, as well as a growing problem in developing countries.
About 41,000 people died of cancer in Taiwan last year, 20 percent of which were of lung cancer, the institute said, adding that lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for Taiwanese women over the past 20 years.
The research from a team led by John Yu (游正博), a distinguished research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, was published in the journal Cancer Research last month.
The team said there are two common types of lung cancer — small-cell lung cancer (15 percent of cases) and non-small-cell lung cancer (85 percent) — and the medical field has found that the mutation on the KRAS oncogene’s codon 12 (the 12th codon set on the gene) was found in 30 percent of the non-small-cell lung cancer cases.
The team established a new model of lung cancer in mice that enabled them to control the KRASG12D gene with a “molecular switch,” which can turn the cancer gene on and off and thereby control the formation and progression of lung cancer.
Team member Cho Huan-chieh (卓煥傑), a doctoral student from the Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Immunology at National Yang-Ming University, used the model to identify the specific cell types from which non-small-cell lung cancer originates.
The team discovered that most malignant tumors arose from bronchiolar Clara cells and that they have attributes consistent with cancer-initiating cells, in that the tumor not only renews itself, but can also differentiate into heterogeneous tissue types.
Yu said tumors of bronchiolar origin are more malignant because the tumor cells can upregulate genes that activate cell growth and downregulate genes that inhibit cell growth, therefore bronchiolar cells are likely to be the origin of malignant lung cancers.
Academia Sinica said the findings could contribute to the development of new methods to detect lung cancer in humans earlier and treat them more effectively.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up