PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Why some HPV infections go away and others become cancer

Immune system response isn't as crucial as activity of the infected cells themselves

2015-03-24
(Press-News.org) DURHAM, N.C. -- For people infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the likelihood of clearing the infection and avoiding HPV-related cancer may depend less on the body's disease-fighting arsenal than has been generally assumed.

A new study finds that the body's ability to defeat the virus may be largely due to unpredictable division patterns in HPV-infected stem cells, rather than the strength of the person's immune response.

If the mathematical model behind the findings holds up, it could point to ways of tweaking the way infected cells divide in order to make HPV infections go away faster and hence lower the risk of developing cancer, said co-author Marc Ryser of Duke University.

The results appear online in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

More than six million people in the U.S. become infected with HPV every year. Most people clear the virus on their own in one to two years with little or no symptoms. But in some people the infection persists. The longer HPV persists the more likely it is to lead to cancer, including cancers of the cervix, penis, anus, mouth and throat.

To better understand why some HPV infections go away and others progress, Duke mathematicians Marc Ryser and Rick Durrett developed a model of HPV infection at the level of the infected tissue.

HPV spreads through intimate skin-to-skin contact during sex with an infected person, and takes advantage of the tissue's natural internal repair system to reproduce and spread.

The invading virus breaks through the layers of cells that line the cervix and other tissues and infects the stem cells in the innermost layer, called the basal layer.

Usually, when an infected stem cell divides into two, one of the new cells stays in the basal layer and the other cell is pushed outward into the upper layers where it dies and is sloughed off, releasing virus particles that can then infect another person. But sometimes, in a process called symmetric division, an infected cell produces two cells with the same fate -- either they both stay in the basal layer or they both make their way to the surface.

The Duke researchers wanted to find out if the balance between these two modes of division affects the number of infected stem cells in the basal layer over time.

By combining their model with data from a population of 313 teenage girls who were tested for HPV every six months for four years, the researchers were able to measure the influence of symmetric and asymmetric cell divisions on the time it takes to get rid of the virus, and compare it to the body's ability to kill virus-infected cells via immune cells called killer T-cells.

Surprisingly, random division patterns in infected cells were found to play a critical role in eradicating the virus.

In particular, the researchers calculated that as much as 83 percent of the body's ability to clear the infection can be explained by the pattern of divisions in HPV-infected cells.

"There is no doubt that the immune system plays a role in HPV clearance," Ryser said. "However, the contribution from the stem cell division patterns may play a non-negligible role in the process, something that has not been acknowledged in previous studies."

The team's next step is to use their model to try to understand why some people who take oral contraceptives for a long time have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

INFORMATION:

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01-GM096190-02).

CITATION: "HPV Clearance and the Neglected Role of Stochasticity," Ryser, M., E. Myers and R. Durrett. PLOS Computational Biology, Date. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004113



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Study provides academic support for new Steve Jobs portrayal

2015-03-24
It's no surprise that some of the most celebrated leaders in the business world also happen to be self-promoting narcissists. New research from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management finds those strong characteristics are not such a bad thing--as long as those leaders temper their narcissism with a little humility now and then. "Just by practicing and displaying elements of humility, one can help disarm, counterbalance, or buffer the more toxic aspects of narcissism," said Bradley Owens, assistant professor of business ethics at BYU. "The outcome ...

Leaders and their followers tick in sync

2015-03-24
Great leaders are often good communicators. In the process of communication, the relationship between leaders and their followers develops spontaneously according to new research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research in Beijing. When a member becomes the group leader, the leader's brain activity in the left temporo-parietal junction, known as representing others' mental states, begins to synchronize with that in the ...

New study shows non-invasive imaging tests can detect coronary artery disease long before it strikes

2015-03-24
Adding two non-invasive imaging tests to traditional cardiovascular disease risk factor assessment more precisely predicts a healthy patient's future risk of heart attack, stroke, or premature death, according to a study led by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the March 24 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). "Using imaging tests to detect disease in carotid or coronary arteries before it causes symptoms can better identify healthy individuals at increased risk than our current, traditional risk assessment methods," ...

New insights into survival outcomes of Asian-Americans diagnosed with cancer

2015-03-24
Numerous studies have documented racial differences in deaths from cancer among non-Hispanic whites and African Americans, but little has been known about survival outcomes for Asian Americans who have been diagnosed with cancer, until now. A new study from Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) examined cancer patients in eight different Asian American subgroups and found their cancer-specific mortality (CSM) was substantially lower than that of non-Hispanic white patients. The findings are published in the March 20 issue of the Journal ...

IQ of children in better-educated households is higher, study of twins indicates

2015-03-24
Young adults who were raised in educated households develop higher cognitive ability than those who were brought up in less ideal environments, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia and Lund University in Sweden. While the study does not refute previous findings that DNA impacts intelligence, it does prove that environmental influences play a significant role in cognitive ability as measured in early adulthood. The study compared the cognitive ability - as measured by IQ - of 436 Swedish male ...

Rapid testing for gene variants in kidney donors may optimize transplant outcomes

2015-03-24
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - March 24, 2015 - Kidney transplantation outcomes from deceased African-American donors may improve through rapid testing for apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) renal risk variants at the time of organ recovery, according to a new study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Variation in the APOL1 gene is associated with up to 40 percent of all kidney diseases in African-Americans who undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation, and APOL1 kidney disease risk variants are only present on the chromosomes of individuals who possess recent ...

Could a tampon one day help predict endometrial cancer? Mayo clinic researchers says yes

2015-03-24
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic have shown that it is possible to detect endometrial cancer using tumor DNA picked up by ordinary tampons. The new approach specifically examines DNA samples from vaginal secretions for the presence of chemical "off" switches -- known as methylation -- that can disable genes that normally keep cancer in check. The finding is a critical step toward a convenient and effective screening test for endometrial cancer, which is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States. The results are published in the journal ...

Consumers value handmade products: What's love got to do with it?

2015-03-24
Machine-made products today are often of very good quality, and many are relatively cheaper than their handmade counterparts. But they are missing the key ingredient of "love," according to a new study in Journal of Marketing. "Handmade products might be perceived to contain and transmit the artisan's "essence" in the form of his or her love for the product in a way that machine-made products cannot," write authors Christoph Fuchs (Technische Universität München), Martin Schreier (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business), and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer ...

Genetic discovery may offer new avenue of attack against schistosomiasis

Genetic discovery may offer new avenue of attack against schistosomiasis
2015-03-24
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a group of genes in one species of snail that provide a natural resistance to the flatworm parasite that causes schistosomiasis, and opens the door to possible new drugs or ways to break the transmission cycle of this debilitating disease. Schistosomiasis infects more than 200 million people in more than 70 countries, and is most common in areas with poor sanitation. It can cause chronic, lifelong disability, beginning with gastrointestinal problems and sometimes leading to liver damage, kidney failure, ...

Legally high? Teenagers and prescription drug abuse

2015-03-24
Legal drugs such as OxyContin now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined. While awareness of the dangers of illegal drugs has increased, many teens are still ignorant of the significant physical danger posed by legally prescribed drugs, according to a new study in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. "The CDC has classified the situation as an epidemic," write authors Richard Netemeyer (University of Virginia), Scot Burton (University of Arkansas), Barbara Delaney (Partnership for Drug Free Kids), and Gina Hijjawi (American Institutes for Research). "Prescription ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Bioinformatics approach could help optimize soldiers’ training for improved readiness and recovery

Earth scientists describe a new kind of volcanic eruption

Warmer wetter climate predicted to bring societal and ecological impact to the Tibetan Plateau

Feeding infants peanut products protects against allergy into adolescence

Who will like beetle skewers? What Europeans think about alternative protein food

ETRI wins ‘iF Design Award’ for mobile collaborative robot

Combating carbon footprint: novel reactor system converts carbon dioxide into usable fuel

Investigating the origin of circatidal rhythms in freshwater snails

Altering cellular interactions around amyloid plaques may offer novel Alzheimer’s treatment strategies

Brain damage reveals part of the brain necessary for helping others

Surprising properties of elastic turbulence discovered

Study assesses cancer-related care at US hospitals predominantly serving minority populations compared with non-minority serving hospitals

First in-human investigator-initiated clinical trial to launch for refractory prostate cancer patients: Novel alpha therapy targets prostate-specific membrane antigen

Will generative AI change the way universities communicate?

Artificial Intelligence could help cure loneliness, says expert

Echidnapus identified from an ‘Age of Monotremes’

Semaglutide may protect kidney function in individuals with overweight or obesity and cardiovascular disease

New technique detects novel biomarkers for kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin

PKMYT1, a potential ‘Achilles heel’ of treatment resistant ER+ breast cancers with the poorest prognosis

PH-binding motifs as a platform for drug design: Lessons from protease-activated receptors (PARs)

Virginia Tech researcher creates new tool to move tiny bioparticles

On repeat: Biologists observe recurring evolutionary changes, over time, in stick insects

Understanding a broken heart

Genetic cause of rare childhood immune disorders discovered

With wobbling stars, astronomers gauge mass of 126 exoplanets and find 15 new ones

[Press-News.org] Why some HPV infections go away and others become cancer
Immune system response isn't as crucial as activity of the infected cells themselves