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Novel Biological Interaction Found To Explain Blood Vessel Growth To Tumors

ew interesting theories to explore.

For example, Pizzo and Moser speculate that blood vessels grow into tumors by capitalizing on the death of cancer cells in the core of tumors due to lack of oxygen.

A tumor is an ever expanding knot of cancer cells, and its central core is often composed of cells that are dying from a lack of oxygen. When cells die, they release a depleted form of chemical fuel called ADP. And it is ADP that the ATPsynthase molecule uses to produce ATP, the body's high energy fuel. So it may be that "vessels are feeding on cell death to grow," Moser said. "This is a very novel strategy."

Folkman added: "Because ATP is necessary for cells to resist conditions of low oxygen, and because the enzyme to produce ATP is situated on the outer surface of endothelial cells, angiostatin, by binding to this enzyme could preferentially inhibit endothelial cells that are in the vascular bed of a tumor, where oxygen would be lower than elsewhere in the body."


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Contact: Renee Twombly
Twomb001@mc.duke.edu
919-684-4148
Duke University Medical Center
16-Mar-1999


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