For a cancer tumour to be able to grow larger than the size of a pea, the cancer cells need to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels that can supply the tumour with oxygen and nutrients, a process known as angiogenesis. A number of medicines which inhibit angiogenesis have been developed, but their effect has been limited, and there is still a major need for better medicines.
The new results concern a receptor on the surface of blood vessel cells called ALK1. When the researchers blocked ALK1 in tumours in mice, angiogenesis was inhibited and the tumours stopped growing. The ALK1 receptor is activated by a family of signalling proteins called TGF-ß proteins that are very important for communication between different types of cell in a wide range of key processes in the body. The study indicates that two members of the TGF-ß family (TGF-ß and BMP9) work together to stimulate angiogenesis in tumours.
ALK1 was blocked partly by genetic means and partly using a pharmaceutical substance called RAP-041.
"We believe that RAP-041 could be used in combination with existing angiogenesis inhibitors to achieve the maximum effect," says associate professor Kristian Pietras, who led the study.
Clinical studies of ACE-041, the human equivalent of RAP-041, have already been begun in the USA by the company that holds the patent on the substance. One goal of these studies is to find out which types of tumour are most sensitive to ALK1 blockade.
Publication: 'Genetic and Pharmacological Targeting of Activin Receptor-like Kinase 1 Impairs Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis', Sara Cunha, Evangelia Pardali, Midory Thorikay, Charlotte Anderberg, Lukas Hawinkels, Marie-José Goumans, Jasbir Seehra, Carl-Henrik Heldin, Peterten Dijke, Kristian Pietras, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, online 11 January 2010.
For more information, please contact:Kristian Pietras, Associate Professor of tumour biology
Katarina Sternudd | idw
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy