Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A Boost for Radiation Therapy


Does a combination of radiation therapy and the inhibition of integrins (key molecules in angiogenesis) improve the chance of cure in cancer?

An increasing number of cancer patients are cured today by radiation therapy – alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. At the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), scientists of the Clinical Cooperation Unit “Radiation Oncology” headed by Professor Dr. Dr. Peter Huber are identifying ways to further enhance the effectiveness of this type of treatment. The research team is targeting a weak point of the tumor: the formation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis.

Once a tumor has reached pinhead size, it needs a supply of blood by blood vessels. If this supply is cut off, tumor growth comes to a halt. To suppress the formation of new blood vessels, integrins are a suitable target. This protein family comprises about 20 members that are involved in cell-cell interaction and regulate contacts with the surrounding protein matrix. Integrins play a key role in the formation of new blood vessels.

The Heidelberg researchers have now tested a combination of radiotherapy and a drug named S247, a substance which specifically inhibits the function of integrins. Investigations in the culture dish have shown that the combination therapy is considerably more effective both against tumor cells and against blood vessel-forming endothelial cells than irradiation alone. The combination approach has also been tested in mice with transplanted human tumors (glioblastoma, skin and prostate cancer). In these experiments, the combined treatment slowed down tumor growth – with no noticeable toxicity – more than twice as much as either of the therapies alone. In addition, tumors in animals treated by the combination approach formed significantly less blood vessels.

The Heidelberg researchers were able to show that the synergistic effect of the combination treatment can be ascribed to the fact that integrin inhibition neutralizes the angiogenesis-promoting effect of radiation. As a survival strategy, endothelial cells respond to radiation by increasing their integrin production. This promotes their invasion of the tumor tissue. The S247 substance counteracts this effect, while at the same time promoting programmed cell of endothelial cells.

The researchers are now working to define the optimum time period between administration of the drug and irradiation. In a next step, they will carry out clinical studies to investigate whether integrin inhibitors also enhance the chances of cure in patients treated for cancer.

The task of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ) is to systematically investigate the mechanisms of cancer development and to identify cancer risk factors. The results of this basic research are expected to lead to new approaches in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Center is financed to 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and to 10 percent by the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e.V.).

Julia Rautenstrauch | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>