Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Targeting EETs to treat cardiovascular disease may prove a double-edged sword

20.12.2011
Study documents connection between increased levels of these lipids and cancer growth and metastasis; also opens door to new avenue for cancer treatment

A group of small molecules called EETs – currently under scrutiny as possible treatment targets for a host of cardiovascular diseases – may also drive the growth and spread of cancer, according to researchers at the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC) and other institutions. Their findings also raise the possibility that drugs that block EETs could serve as a new avenue for cancer treatment.

This study, led by Dipak Panigrahy, MD, of DF/CHCC and the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston, appeared online December 19 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

EETs (or epoxyeicosatrienoic acids) are small fatty molecules, part of a larger family of lipids normally produced by the endothelial cells that line blood vessels to control inflammation and the response to injury. These molecules are also potent regulators of blood pressure, leading pharmaceutical companies to investigate compounds that raise EET levels for the treatment of nearly 20 cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, stroke, and diabetes.

However, little work has been done to learn whether these molecules themselves might have some role to play in tumor growth or progression. This is despite evidence that enzymes that process EETs are associated with cancer, and that EETs can promote angiogenesis – the growth of blood vessels.

"EETs have primarily been studied in models of cardiovascular disease," said the study's lead author, Dipak Panigrahy, MD. "This is the first time that direct administration of exogenous EETs and of specific EET antagonists has been investigated in pre-clinical cancer models."

In order to determine the extent of the relationship between EETs and cancer, Panigrahy and his collaborators conducted a series of studies using animal models of EET activity developed in the laboratory of Darryl Zeldin, MD, at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"NIEHS was pleased to work with such a distinguished international research team to address this important issue," Zeldin said.

With the models, the researchers were able to document that increasing the levels of EET levels – either by increasing their natural production or injecting them systemically – creates an environment conducive to tumor growth, even contributing to the transition of early tumors from a dormant state to active malignancy. They also found that EETs work in concert with VEGF, a potent stimulator of angiogenesis in both normal and cancerous tissues, to promote tumor metastasis, even in cancers that rarely spread to other organs.

"Many people have dormant tumors that may never become fully malignant," said Panigrahy. "The switch from a dormant to an active state is critically dependent on angiogenesis, as is metastasis, and so patients who have a high cancer risk could potentially increase that risk further by raising their EET levels."

The study team also found that compounds that block the activity of EETs, called EET antagonists, could reduce tumor growth and metastasis in the same animal models, suggesting that such compounds could have benefit as cancer treatments.

"Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in North America, and as such drugs that raise EET levels could provide significant benefit," says DF/CHCC's Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, one of the paper's senior authors. "We must be cautious, though, that in manipulating these molecules to regulate blood pressure we do not favor cancer growth and metastasis, another common cause of death.

"With these findings, though," Kieran continued, "we now have a better idea of how cancers drive themselves, opening up a new pathway for understanding and potentially treating cancer and metastasis that wasn't available to us before. At the same time, this data could potentially help inform the design of cardiovascular drugs that avoid raising cancer risk through this mechanism."

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the NIH Division of Intramural Research, the Stop and Shop Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund, the C.J. Buckley Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and nine members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 395 bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Children's, visit: http://vectorblog.org.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women's Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Children's Hospital Boston as Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding.Follow Dana-Farber on Twitter:@danafarber Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: www.facebook.com/danafarbercancerinstitute

Colleen Connolly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dana-farber.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>