A drug that is currently used to help treat bone metastases in patients with lung cancer could also be useful at an earlier stage of treatment, to prevent the cancer from spreading in the first place, Italian researchers have found.
Dr Michela Quirino and colleagues from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome have reported important new evidence that zoledronic acid may be able to prevent lung cancer metastases from recruiting the new blood vessels they need to survive. This process of recruiting new blood vessels is called angiogenesis.
"Our investigation represents the first clear clinical evidence of the anti-angiogenic effect of zoledronic acid in patients with metastatic lung cancer," Dr Quirino said. "It also represents the first biological basis in lung cancer for the clinical investigation of zoledronic acid not only for metastatic lung cancer, but also in early disease."
Dr Quirino presented findings from a study of 41 patients with advanced lung cancer.
Each patient was administered 4 mg of zoledronic acid, and their blood levels of several molecular markers of angiogenesis were measured before and 48 hours after the injection. Those markers included the molecules VEGF, PDGF, b-FGF and HGF.
"We found a statistically significant reduction of VEGF levels at day 2 after 4 mg ZA intravenous infusion compared with basal values," Dr Quirino said. Blood levels of bFGF were also significantly reduced. "Some studies reported that VEGF secretion is induced by bFGF and this could support our results," she added.
The researchers did not record any significant effect of injecting the drug on the levels of the other two mediators of angiogenesis, PDGF and HGF.
Treatment with zoledronic acid is already an important treatment to manage bone metastases from lung cancer, Dr Quirino noted. Some clinical studies have already demonstrated that zoledronic acid in bone metastases from lung cancer improves clinical outcomes and patient survival.
"If further studies should confirm a possible anti-metastatic effect of this drug, possibly relying also on its anti-angiogenic effect, it could be introduced in the early management of the disease, even as an adjuvant therapy."
Commenting on the study, which he was not involved in, Prof Ken O'Byrne, from St James's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These observations underline the importance of targeting VEGF in non-small cell lung cancer and the potential role bFGF may have in tumor growth and metastasis. The results lay the groundwork for evaluating the potential role of zoledronic acid in the treatment of lung cancer independently of the effects on bone metastases."
Vanessa Pavinato | EurekAlert!
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology