Persistent inflammatory conditions have been linked with tumour growth

Authors

Ludwig Institute member associate professor Matthias Ernst and colleagues have identified a potential new treatment for certain types of colon and gastric cancers.

Ernst said many types of colon and gastric cancer were associated with chronic inflammation. “We have previously shown that the immune system‘s inflammatory response can promote the growth of tumours,” he said. “In the digestive system, persistent inflammatory conditions have been linked with tumour growth: patients who have stomach ulcers or gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) are more susceptible to gastric cancer, while inflammation of the colon, called colitis, is associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer.”

The research team found that inflammation-associated gastric and colon cancers showed activation of mTorc1, an aggregate of proteins that signals inside cells to promote growth. Many cancer types depend on mTorc1 activity to grow, and there is considerable interest in the use of mTorc1 inhibitors to treat cancer.

The growth of inflammation-associated colon and gastric cancers could be treated with mTorc1 inhibitors, Ernst said.

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