AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

New Cancer Study that uses HeLa Cells

Credit Nick 960

A study at Loyola University Chicago Strich School of Medicine has discovered the role of a protein that aids in cancer metastasis, enabling 23 types of cancers (including breast, lung, pancreas, and thyroid) to spread to other parts of the body.  The protein CXCR4 functions in a complex signaling pathway that signals cancer cells to land at new sites and start new tumors.

Through the use of HeLa cells, medical researchers at Loyola University are better understanding the role of CXCR4, and by inhibiting this protein they hope to prevent the cancer from metastasizing.

Scientists hope to develop a drug in the near future that blogs CXCR4, and quickly bring it into testing on animals.  If the drug appears successful, it be tested in a clinical trial of cancer patients.

As Adriano Marchese, PhD at Loyola University states, “”We are laying the groundwork for the development of new drugs to stop cancer from spreading.”

For more information on the research studies being conducted at Loyola, visit the site:

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  1. jackalantern926

    Wow this is so interesting! I did some more research on CXCR4 genes and found that they belong to a family of Chemokines. Chemokines bind to special receptors on G-proteins, specifically on the surface of leukocytes. Chemokines also play a roll in apoptosis! for more information on the role of chemokines, visit this site:

  2. lp719

    This article really interested me because I have always been skeptical of effective cancer treatments. However, I also found an article from 2006 that supports the studies that took place at Loyola University. It says that CXCR4 plays an important role in the three main parts of cancer: the proliferation of the primary tumor, migration of tumor cells and invasion of metastases at distant sites.
    Here’s the link!

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