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Huntington's Disease Protects from Cancer?

Swedish researchers have discovered that patients with the neurodegenerative disorder had half the normal expected risk of developing tumors.

By | April 13, 2012

Neurons transfected with a disease-associated version of huntingtin, the protein that causes Huntington's disease WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, STEVEN FINKBEINER

Scientists reviewing medical records from Swedish hospitals have found that a surprisingly low number of people with Huntington's disease developed cancer over the course of nearly 40 years. Only 91 out of more than 1,500 Huntington's patients (~6 percent) also came down with cancer from 1969 to 2008 in the Scandinavian country, researchers from Lund University and the Stanford University School of Medicine reported in The Lancet Oncology this week. This is 53 percent lower than levels of cancer seen in the general population.

Huntington's disease is caused by a genetic mutation that disrupts the production of proteins called glutamines, and earlier studies had shown similar cancer protective effects in other so-called polyglutamine diseases.

"Clarification of the mechanism underlying the link between polyglutamine diseases and cancer in the future could lead to the development of new treatment options for cancer," Jianguang Ji, lead author from the Center for Primary Health Care Research at Lund University, told the BBC.

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Comments

Avatar of: Kilroy69

Kilroy69

Posts: 11

April 14, 2012

The explanation of the cause of Huntington's is not correct. The cause is expansion, or an increase in the number of glutamine residues in the protein huntingtin. The gene contains several CAG triplets (each of which encodes a glutamine) and if the number of these increases beyond a certain number the normal function of the protein huntingtin is impaired, resulting in the disease.

Avatar of: Shabu Shaik

Shabu Shaik

Posts: 1457

April 14, 2012

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the human body.It is essential for the growth of normal and neoplastic cells and for the culture of many cell types. 
The  knowledge of glutamine and cancer,relation between glutamine and cancer in the future leads to novel drug in the coming future

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 14, 2012

The explanation of the cause of Huntington's is not correct. The cause is expansion, or an increase in the number of glutamine residues in the protein huntingtin. The gene contains several CAG triplets (each of which encodes a glutamine) and if the number of these increases beyond a certain number the normal function of the protein huntingtin is impaired, resulting in the disease.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 14, 2012

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the human body.It is essential for the growth of normal and neoplastic cells and for the culture of many cell types. 
The  knowledge of glutamine and cancer,relation between glutamine and cancer in the future leads to novel drug in the coming future

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 15, 2012

Some years ago (Nat Med 5:1194, 1999) it was reported that lymphoblasts derived from HD patients showed increased stress-induced apoptotic cell death associated with caspase-3 activation. It could be that immune surveillance is more sensitive in these patients.

Avatar of: Ken_Pidcock

Ken_Pidcock

Posts: 5

April 15, 2012

Some years ago (Nat Med 5:1194, 1999) it was reported that lymphoblasts derived from HD patients showed increased stress-induced apoptotic cell death associated with caspase-3 activation. It could be that immune surveillance is more sensitive in these patients.

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