The Role of the Kappa Opioid Receptor in Regulating Cancer Proliferation in Vitro and In Vivo

Cancer can be extremely painful, and is often treated with opioid drugs such as morphine. However, this treatment is often inadequate, and has many adverse side effects. Moreover, the effects of opioids on disease progression are not clear.

A body of research has suggested that opioid agonists acting at the Mu Opioid Receptor (MOR) may alter disease progression including enhancing bone loss and promoting cancer metastasis and tumor growth, although these effects are controversial and need further study. Drugs that activate the Kappa Opioid Receptor (KOR) can also decrease pain in animal models. However, whether or not activation of the KOR promotes or inhibits cancer growth is mostly unknown. Before we can develop KOR drugs for the treatment of cancer pain, we need to determine the effects of KOR drugs on cancer growth and disease progression. We thus propose to test the effect of KOR activating drugs on the proliferation of multiple cancer cell lines in vitro as well as disease progression in vivo in mice.

The results of this research may thus provide 1) an additional drug target for the direct treatment of cancer and 2) whether KOR analgesic drugs may be an alternative, more effective treatment of cancer pain.

Organization: 
University of New England
Researcher: 
John M. Streicher, Ph.D
Grant Amount Given: 
$50,000
Year Issued: 
2013
Period: 
Annual
Grant Category: 
Research
Types of Cancer: 
All
Grant Duration: 
1 Year Pilot Grant

Maine Cancer Foundation Grants to this Organization:

Year Program Amount Category Organization
2013 The Role of the Kappa Opioid Receptor in Regulating Cancer Proliferation in Vitro and In Vivo $50,000 Research University of New England
2013 Improving the Treament of Cancer Related Pain $22,540 Education University of New England
2012 Feasibility of Using SEER-Medicare Data to Assess the Influence of ESA Policy Changes on Outcomes $55,936 Research University of New England
2012 The Role of IL-6 Signaling in Cancer-induced Bone Pain $139,633 Research University of New England
2011 Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid2 Receptor Agonists Inhibit Breast Cancer Proliferation $105,197 Research University of New England
2008 Role of Delta Opioid Receptors in Bone Cancer $81,995 Research University of New England
2002 Occupational Therapy Education $5,000 Education University of New England
2001 The Impact of Chemotherapy on Memory in Women with Breast Cancer $5,074 Research University of New England