Scientists at Bristol University have found that a protein present in normal body tissues can prevent tumour growth.
A team led by Dr Dave Bates, British Heart Foundation Lecturer, and Dr Steve Harper, Senior Research Fellow in the Microvascular Research Laboratories, in the Department of Physiology at Bristol University, have discovered that a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) found in normal tissue, including blood, can prevent cancers from growing. The research findings will be published in the worlds most prestigious scientific cancer journal, Cancer Research, next week [1 November 2004].
The growth of any cancer depends on its ability to maintain a blood supply that will deliver nutrients. For a cancer to grow from the size of a pinhead to that of a golf-ball, the blood supply of the tumour has to grow with the expansion of the tumour itself. Most forms of VEGF help this blood vessel growth. The new form of VEGF, VEGF165b, which was discovered by the same team in 2002, inhibits the growth of new blood vessels required for tumours to grow above one millimetre.
Joanne Fryer | EurekAlert!
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