Washington: A group of scientists has been working to develop a new technique for fine-tuning cancer treatment.
According to a study by the University of East Anglia, cancer treatments have prevented the blood supply to a tumor could be more effective in combination with existing chemotherapeutic agents. The study showed that tumor growth in mice is better reduced when the expression of a particular protein called beta3-integrin is used in combination with drugs that are already used in cancer patients, targeted.
It is hoped that the results will help fine-tune the treatment of cancer patients and revive interest in the use of microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), which are widely used as chemotherapeutic agents in cancer patients.
Lead researcher Stephen Robinson said, "Tumors must recruit their own blood supply to grow beyond a very small size, and this process is called angiogenesis."
"Anti-angiogenic drugs stop tumors from growing their own blood vessels, and that, in turn, can slow down the growth of cancer, or narrow it down." Targeting angiogenesis is therefore seen as crucial in many anti-cancer strategies, "continued Robinson , "However, many antiangiogenic therapies target proteins that support a patient's normal blood supply ̵
The research team has long looked to beta3-integrin for a better anti-angiogenic target because the protein is not expressed in normal blood vessels but is expressed in tumor blood vessels. This reduced the potential for unwanted side effects.
Now the team has shown that beta3-integrin, in combination with microtubule-targeting agents that are widely used in cancer patients, works better than beta3-integrin alone. Microtubules are protein structures in cells that help them to move and divide.
In particular, the Robinson lab looked at how beta3-integrin and microtubules in the blood vessels (endothelial cells) intermix and showed that microtubules behave differently when beta3-integrin levels are reduced;
Dr. Robinson said: "This protein, beta3-integrin, has been the focus of drug design over the last two decades, as its expression in endothelial cells is greatly increased during cell vascular recruitment to tumors." We found that targeting the protein is beta3-integrin in combination with the use of microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), a good way could be to stop tumors that attract a blood supply to grow. "
This is very important because MTAs are already in the clinic and often as chemo-therapies how paclitaxel is used in cancer patients. In the meantime, beta3-integrin inhibitors have been at the center of cancer therapy for more than 20 years and are well tolerated in clinical trials. , Robinson worked out.
The study appears in the journal EMBO Reports.