NEW YORK, October 31, 2001 - The biology of tumor growth has been a mystery. While it has been known that tumors recruit cells to form new blood vessels - a process called angiogenesis - and that growth factors are necessary to promote this, the origin of the cells that form the early, new blood vessels has been poorly understood. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University have discovered that tumor angiogenesis occurs when precursor cells from the bone marrow are mobilized and recruited by VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) stem cells to the tumor blood vessels. Their findings, published in the November issue of Nature Medicine, suggest new targets for cancer therapies and a possible blood test for cancer.
"We hope to be able to apply our findings to cancer patients for diagnostic purposes and for treatment, and are beginning studies to determine the diagnostic potential," said Dr. David Lyden, a Memorial Sloan-Kettering pediatric oncologist and first author of the study. "There are monoclonal antibodies already developed that can recognize and block mobilized blood cells, preventing tumor growth and metastasis. These are also being studied as possible treatment options."
To identify the origin of cells that contributes to tumor angiogenesis, the researchers wanted to determine if there was a role for bone marrow-derived cells in initiating and maintaining a functioning tumor blood vessel. Study co-author Dr. Shahin Rafii, a vascular hematologist-oncologist at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, had shown that bone marrow-derived circulating endothelial precursor (CEP) cells are mobilized from the bone marrow to contribute to angiogenesis in wound healing. They used the findings from an earlier Memorial Sloan-Kettering study by Lyden and co-author, Dr. Robert Benezra published in the October 1999 issue of the journal Nature that demonstrated that two proteins, Id1 and Id3, arPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Joanne Nicholas
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
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