Normally, only limited angiogenesis takes place in organisms after fetal development. Apart from pathological situations, such as cancer, angiogenesis is needed for events such as embryogenesis, wound repair, and successful skin grafts. "It's important to remember that cancer patients are sick," he explains. "There are other pathologies besides tumors. Many such patients experience difficulties with clotting, bleeding, and vascular damage, for example, and may require some level of neovascularization.
"We have to be careful not to elevate expectations to unreasonable levels prior to the results of clinical trials. However, on the other side, the potential beauty of these drugs is that they may only be required for short-term treatment, and that many of these other issues will be manageable."
A collaborative project between scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, the Notre Dame Center for Transgene Research, and the Walther Cancer Center will study genetically manipulated mice with deletions of angiostatin's parent protein, plasminogen. Results from this in vivo research are expected to yield greater understanding of the angiostatin-plasminogen relationship in cancer, Castellino says.
For more information, contact Frances J. Castellino, Kleiderer-Pezold
professor of biochemistry and dean of the College of Science, at (219) 631-6456
or Elliot D. Rosen, research associate professor and associate director of the
Transgene Research Center, at (219) 631-9365. Castellino's research is funded
by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He
also has received funding from EntreMed, the Rockland, Md., biotech company that
Contact: Francis J. Castellino
University of Notre Dame