Resistance to colorectal cancer treatment

Colorectal cancer causes more than 600,000 deaths annually over the world. A group of scientists from the IMIM-Hospital del Mar, lead by Joan Albanell, have now identified a mutation that confers resistance to cetuximab, one of the drugs used to treat this cancer. Cetuximab and panitumumab are two antibodies against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and both are widely used to treat colorectal cancer. EGFR is a transmembrane protein which is amplified in these tumours. The antibodies bind to the extracellular domain of the EGFR preventing its activation. This results in halting of the cascade of intracellular signals dependent on this receptor … Continue reading Resistance to colorectal cancer treatment

Analysing the Colon crypts

This image of a transversal cut of the colon shows the intestinal crypts stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The aim was to detect the presence of the activated IKK alpha protein (in brown). In healthy intestinal crypts such as those in the image, most of the cells are negative for this staining and the only brown cells are the lymphocytes that occupy the spaces in between the crypts. In colon tumour samples, on the other hand, there are high levels of activated IKK alpha in the cells of the crypt. The image was taken by Vanessa Fernández-Majada and Lluís Espinosa, from … Continue reading Analysing the Colon crypts