These findings, which currently appear on-line, suggest for the first time that these two agents combined may prove more effective in battling cancer than either one used separately.
"Just as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen each work in different ways to relieve pain, it now appears that endogenous inhibitors like endostatin and tumstatin work in different ways to halt angiogenesis," explains the study's senior author Raghu Kalluri, Ph.D., of the Center for Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). "These findings may help us to be more informed in the ways we use these molecules as potential drug candidates in the future."
Angiogenesis has been the focus of attention among cancer researchers for more than 30 years. The angiogenesis process takes place when a single layer of endothelial cells which line the inside of the small blood vessels break off from the vessels' membrane and develop into new capillaries. In a number of diseases including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic retinopathy, as well as cancer it is the unchecked growth of these capillaries that contributes to disease pathogenesis.
Over the years, scientists have identified a number of endogenous protein fragments which can put a halt to this process. Known as endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors, these include endostatin and tumstatin. Subsequent investigations have shown that these angiogenesis inhibitors might function by binding to a group of cell surface associated molecules known as integrins.
In this new study, Kalluri and his colleagues discovered that these two inhibitory molecules were binding to two separate and distinct integrins endosta
Contact: Bonnie Prescott
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center