Scientists discover a way to kill off tumors in cancer treatment breakthrough

April 5, 2011

Scientists from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast and Almac Discovery Ltd have developed a new treatment for cancer which rather than attacking tumours directly, prevents the growth of new blood vessels in tumours, starving them of oxygen and nutrients, thereby preventing their growth.

Targeting tumour is not a new concept, however, this drug attacks the blood vessels using an entirely different pathway and therefore could be useful for treating tumours which don't respond to or which are resistant to current therapies of this type.

Professor Tracy Robson and her research team at Queen's, in collaboration with researchers at Almac Discovery, developed a new drug to disrupt the tumour blood supply. They have demonstrated that this leads to highly effective inhibition of tumour growth in a number of models as reported this month in , a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Almac Discovery is developing the and expects to start clinical trials within the next year.

Professor Tracy Robson from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's explains: "By understanding the anti-angiogenic potential of the natural protein, FKBPL, we have been able to develop small peptide-based drugs that could be delivered to prevent tumour growth by cutting off their blood supply. This is highly effective in models of prostate and .

"However, this also has the potential for the treatment of any solid tumour and we're excited about continuing to work with Almac Discovery as this drug enters clinical trials."

Dr Stephen Barr, President and Managing Director of Almac Discovery said: "This is a first class example of a collaboration between a university and industry to produce a novel approach to that has a real chance of helping patients".

The Almac Discovery / Queen's University drug is currently undergoing preclinical development and may provide a first-in-class therapy for targeting tumour angiogenesis by an entirely different pathway to those agents currently approved.

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not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
But cutting the blood supply from the tissue where the cancer grows, you are killing, first of all, the fibroblasts, not the cancer cells, so you're killing the patient body that way. There was a story on this website short time ago.
not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
By cutting off the blood supply the tumour would die as well would it not? But it does sound like it only reduces the blood flow to the tomour.

They have demonstrated that this leads to highly effective inhibition of tumour growth in a number of models

5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2011
Every day we're closer to extermination of cancer

Good news
not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
I take it that this drug would be administered directly to the cancerous tissue? Or is the drug a targeted molecule to the cancerous tissue?
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
By cutting off the blood flow, or antiangiogenic therapy you essentially cut the nutrients off to the cancerous growth. Kind of like cutting the roots off a plant. Yes, you will kill existing parts of the body that aren't considered cancerous but in very small amounts; furthermore, the alternatives such as chemotherapy or radiation also kill areas of the body in which aren't cancerous. The anti-angiogenic therapy is a far less detrimental way of handling treatment in my opinion.
1 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2011
Plenty of misunderstanding here... Tumors don't spread or grow if they're unable to grow, so angiogenesis (creation of NEW blood vessels) is critical in cancers metastasizing. This drug aims to prevent creation of new blood vessels, so it's a great treatment for anyone who isn't recovering from serious injuries or actively growing. It should not kill of any of the surrounding tissue.
not rated yet Apr 16, 2011
qwargh, argue with this news
"...the researchers say their new theory of stromal metabolic re-programming suggests that cancer cells do not need blood vessels to feed them, which explains why some angiogensis inhibitors (drugs that shut down blood vessel growth) have not worked - and, in fact, may be dangerous."

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