Category Archives: Angiogenesis

Pancreatic cancer – early detection, immune response, and infection-based resistance

Approximately 1.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at some point during their lifetime. In 2014, an estimated 64,668 patients were living with the disease. The five-year survival for pancreatic cancer is 8.2% and it is projected to be the second leading cause of death due to cancer (behind lung cancer) in the US by the year 2030. For good reason, then, November is Pancreatic Awareness Month. Several recent research items are of particular interest to us. Continue reading

Osteopontin – a prognostic marker for cancer progression

Osteopontin (OPN) is a matrix protein that is expressed by osteoclasts, osteoblasts, dendritic cells, fibroblasts, hepatocytes, smooth and skeletal muscle cells, endothelial cells, and kidney cells. It interacts with many cell surface receptors including integrins and CD44. One of the major physiologic functions of OPN is the control of bone mineralization – by binding to specific apatitie crystal faces, it inhibits mineralization. But, OPN is also a pro-inflammatory cytokine that acts in many tissues to recruit monocytes and macrophages and induce cytokine secretion from leukocytes. As such, it has a critical role in tissue remodeling, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. Continue reading

VB-111, A Novel Gene Therapeutic Agent in Cancer- Ashini R. Dias, Contributor

The formation of new blood vessels or angiogenesis is a normal process required for growth and wound healing. Unfortunately, it also plays a critically enabling role in the growth, proliferation, invasion and metastasis of cancers since tumors cannot grow beyond a certain size without a blood supply. The resulting new blood vessels feed the growing tumors with necessary oxygen and nutrients, allowing the cancer cells to invade nearby tissue, and gain access to immature blood vessels to metastasize throughout the body. Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), which is secreted by carcinoma cells, is the most important signaling molecule to stimulate and proliferate stromal cells. Myofibroblasts, transdifferentiated from stromal fibroblasts by PDGF, secretes chemokines that recruit endothelial precursor cells (EPC) in to the stroma. Myofibroblasts also secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which induces the differentiation of EPCs into endothelial cells, subsequently forming the neo-vasculature. Continue reading

Combined CA4P (Fosbretabulin) therapy in Cancer- Ashini R. Dias, Contributor

Malignant tumors cannot grow beyond a certain size without establishing blood supply to feed them with necessary nutrients and oxygen. The process of recruiting new blood vessels to the tumor is termed angiogenesis. Growth factors, mainly secreted by the tumor itself, induce angiogenesis; the most notable of these is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which helps endothelial precursor cells mature into neo-capillary forming, endothelial cells. These secrete other growth factors, like platelet derivative growth factor (PDGF), which attracts pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells that, together, create the outer layers of capillaries.   Continue reading

Melanoma Metastases Enabled by Melanosomes

Researchers have identified vesicles containing micro-RNA are important in the aggressive biologic behavior of melanoma, a cancer that kills via metastasizing to distant sites from primary tumors that are quite small. Continue reading

Pancreatic cancer drug that mimics heparin halted in Phase 2 for lack of efficacy

A Phase 2 study of necuparanib (from Momenta Pharmaceuticals) was halted following an interim futility analysis. The data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) ran the analysis once 57 patients in the 120-person trial had died, leading to the conclusion that necuparanib was showing insufficient efficacy to justify continuing the study. Continue reading

Bristol Myers Acquire Cormorant for Anti-IL-8 Cancer Drug

BMS (Bristol Myers Squibb) acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Cormorant, the private, Stockholm-based biotech company developing HuMax-IL8, for $520MM. HuMax-IL8, which is currently in Phase I/II trials, is a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin-8 (IL-8), a protein is expressed by many solid tumors. IL-8 also suppresses the immune system and increases the ability of tumors to metastasize. Continue reading

Combined Endoglin and VEGF Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in Cancer – Subasinghe Nissanga A Dias, Contributor

Blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) is an important pathologic process in solid tumors. The liberation of vast amounts of vasoendothelial growth factor (VEGF), which attracts endothelial cells, is responsible for angiogenesis. Continue reading

SOR-C13 and Psaptides for Ovarian Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan-drug designation to peptide SOR-C13 (Sorcimed) for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Additionally, two forms of a peptide derived from a naturally-occurring human protein (Psaptides) can force tumors to shrink significantly in an animal model of metastatic ovarian cancerContinue reading