In a landmark study, Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee report that drugs used to inhibit a specific fatty acid in rat brains with glioblastoma-like tumors not only reduced new blood vessel growth and tumor size dramatically, but also prolonged survival. The study is the featured cover story of the August, 2008 Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.
"These rat model tumors were developed from human glioblastoma tumor cells and closely mimic human tumors in growth patterns and response to therapy," says lead researcher David Harder, Ph.D., Kohler Co. Professor in Cardiovascular Research. "The concept of targeting blood vessels that feed tumors as an approach to limit tumor growth is not a novel idea," he says. "However, blocking the specific fatty acid described in this study is novel, and holds great promise for use in humans."
Malignant gliomas are very aggressive tumors of the central nervous system, resistant to chemotherapy and radiation, and account for about half of the 350,000 brain tumors currently diagnosed in the U.S.
Dr. Harder is also professor of physiology, associate dean for research and director of the Medical College's Cardiovascular Research Center. He believes that further studies, demonstrating that such drugs work in humans may reveal that higher concentrations or infusions over longer periods of time may be more effective than the results reported in this study.
"If survival time could be extended, with a combination of surgical therapy and infusion with similar drugs, this could be a significant treatment option," he says.
Earlier studies from the Harder lab have shown that specific fatty acids generated in the brain induce new blood vessel growth known as angiogenesis. Harder and colleagues designed these studies on the premise that all cells, including cancer cells, require oxygen for growth and that blocking formation of specific fatty acids would decrease blood vessel growth and oxygen supply to tumors, retarding their growth.
In their current study, Dr. Harder and colleagues compared three sets of rats with induced tumors, two groups using either one of two inhibitor drugs, 17-ODYA or miconazole, to block the fatty acid CYP epoxygenase and a control group, receiving a placebo. Drugs were infused directly into the tumors over an extended period of time, using specially-designed miniature osmotic pumps and a very small burr hole in the skull. The pumps, similar to those used in humans, were buried just beneath the skin through a tiny incision.
Compared to the control group, tumor size in the drug-infused groups was reduced by an average 50 to 70 percent, and survival time increased by five to seven days, equivalent to three to four months in terms of human survival.
"These pumps have been used in humans for other diseases and can be designed for delivery of these drugs as well," says Dr. Harder. "We believe they can be used to deliver drugs to block angiogenesis in complex human tumors such as glioblastomas."
Eileen La Susa | EurekAlert!
Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy