Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bristol scientists find key to unlock body’s own cancer defence

02.11.2004


Scientists at Bristol University have found that a protein present in normal body tissues can prevent tumour growth.



A team led by Dr Dave Bates, British Heart Foundation Lecturer, and Dr Steve Harper, Senior Research Fellow in the Microvascular Research Laboratories, in the Department of Physiology at Bristol University, have discovered that a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) found in normal tissue, including blood, can prevent cancers from growing. The research findings will be published in the world’s most prestigious scientific cancer journal, ’Cancer Research’, next week [1 November 2004].

The growth of any cancer depends on its ability to maintain a blood supply that will deliver nutrients. For a cancer to grow from the size of a pinhead to that of a golf-ball, the blood supply of the tumour has to grow with the expansion of the tumour itself. Most forms of VEGF help this blood vessel growth. The new form of VEGF, VEGF165b, which was discovered by the same team in 2002, inhibits the growth of new blood vessels required for tumours to grow above one millimetre.


They have also found that this form of VEGF is generally found in many normal parts of the body, including the prostate, but not in prostate cancer, and have established how this form of VEGF works on blood vessels.

The identification of how this new form of VEGF works, and its effects on tumours, means that it could be possible to prevent tumour growth by starving the tumour using the body’s own anti-cancer agent, VEGF165b. The advantage of using VEGF165b over established compounds to treat cancer is that VEGF165b is a natural protein produced by the body under normal circumstances. Many new cancer therapies are based on starving the tumour of nutrients by attacking the tumour blood supply rather than the cancer cells. Blocking VEGF using antibodies has recently been shown to be effective in large-scale trials in colorectal cancer in the United States.

New blood vessel growth is also necessary for many normal body functions. These include the development of the embryo and, in adults, wound healing, the development of the placenta in pregnancy and of muscles during physical training programmes. However, it is thought that adults can live healthily without blood vessel growth for extended periods of time. This blood vessel growth is controlled by many factors, but VEGF is the most powerful factor.

Dr Bates, said: "Now that we have found out that this protein works in living tissues, we need to find the best way of using it in cancer, with tumour models. We also need to try it in models of other diseases where blood vessel growth is necessary, such as diabetes, age related macular degeneration and arthritis."

Dr Harper, added: "After two years of hard work it is a big step to show that this protein works in real cancers. We hope to be able to take this forward in the next few years to work out how to treat patients with cancer, eye disease and other conditions where this protein is important."

Joanne Fryer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New way to look at cell membranes could change the way we study disease
19.11.2018 | University of Oxford

nachricht Controlling organ growth with light
19.11.2018 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>