Cancer killer?

June 20th, 2014
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It's way too early in the game to start touting this as a "cancer killer"† but researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have discovered a protein that slows the development of new blood vessels and in turn may slow the growth of cancerous tumors.

 

The research appeared Thursday in the journal Cell and on the Cleveland Clinic's web site. Per the CCF report:

A family of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) is behind angiogenesis. One protein, called VEGF-A, is the principal driver of the process.

A research team led by Paul Fox, PhD, of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, discovered that a variant of VEGF-A decreases angiogenesis.

The variant is named VEGF-Ax.

Stopping the growth of new blood vessels cuts off the supply of blood to a cancerous tumor, which needs those items in the blood to survive, expand and travel to other parts of the body. Because tumors cannot grow beyond a certain size or spread without a blood supply, scientists are trying to find ways to block tumor angiogenesis, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The discovery will open new avenues of angiogenesis and cancer research, Fox says, and could potentially lead to new diagnostic tools and improved treatments to reduce the spread of cancer.

Says Fox:

“It is truly remarkable that a small change in a protein sequence leads not just to a protein with a different function, but one with a function completely opposite to the original. In the context of cancer, the small extension changes a very ‘bad’ protein into a very ‘good’ one."

View the full post HERE.

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† - Apologies for the clickbait headline =)

4 Responses to “Cancer killer?”

  1. Marilyn Lee:

    Very interesting. The new work of cancer research is very hopeful,Thanks,M


  2. Dan Bohannon:

    I have stage IV melanoma, any chance trials can happen in my time?


  3. BJ Reyes:

    Dan: Based on that post, it doesn't sound like trials are in the works any time soon, but there is a link at the bottom of the story to contact the Cleveland Clinic. Best of luck to you!


  4. ohiaforest3400:

    Dan, as you probably know, there are other types of anti-angiogenetic agents that have had some success, several of which were helpful to my mother in her battle against the same cancer.


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