Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Protein May Hold Key To Stopping Tumor Growth In Cancer Patients

Date:
April 3, 2009
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
A recent discovery could clear the way for a new drug that inhibits tumor growth in cancer patients and could potentially help in the healing of wounds.

A recent discovery by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine could clear the way for a new drug that inhibits tumor growth in cancer patients and could potentially help in the healing of wounds.

The discovery stems from a study, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, in which researchers looked at angiogenesis – the body's formation of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels – and how some blood proteins are involved in that process and affect blood vessel growth.

Researchers found that a protein called ferritin binds to and cripples the ability of another blood protein, called HKa, to shut down blood vessel growth. Because new blood vessels supply a steady stream of nutrients and oxygen that are essential for tumor growth, researchers found that the binding of the two proteins actually assists in new blood vessel formation by removing HKa's influence and therefore promotes tumor growth.

The finding led researchers to the hypothesis that if they can somehow prevent the binding of ferritin and HKa, it will allow HKa to prevent new blood vessel growth and therefore block the growth of tumors.

The finding also has possible implications for wound care. In order to heal, wounds need blood vessel growth. It is therefore possible that by increasing the binding of ferritin to HKa, one could increase the rate at which a serious wound heals.

"It's been known for a long time that levels of ferritin are increased in people with tumors, but it's never been understood why that happens," said Suzy V. Torti, Ph.D., the study's lead investigator, an associate professor of biochemistry and an expert in iron biology at the School of Medicine. "Ferritin appears to play an important role in blood vessel formation. Further, the interaction between ferritin and HKa may represent a new area of interest for possible drug development."

For the study, researchers injected mice with prostate cancer cells to determine how ferritin and HKa affected the formation of new blood vessels.

The mice injected with the cancer cells grew tumors. But when researchers mixed HKa with the tumor cells, the HKa inhibited blood vessel formation. When researchers added ferritin to the mixture of HKa and cancer cells, however, the ferritin restored blood vessel formation, allowing the tumors to grow again.

"Blood vessels can either be helpful, for example in wound healing, or they can be harmful, for example by favoring tumor growth," Torti said. "Our new finding is that the interaction between ferritin and HKa can influence blood vessel formation. This finding could serve as the basis for strategies to either inhibit or stimulate blood vessels. This opens up a new realm of potential ways to treat tumors or other conditions that depend on new blood vessel formation."

The research team, supported by a National Institutes of Health grant, has begun work to develop an anti-tumor drug based on their findings.

Lan G. Coffman, Ph.D., Derek Parsonage, Ph.D., Ralph D'Agostino Jr., Ph.D., and Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H, all of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, also collaborated on the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Blood Protein May Hold Key To Stopping Tumor Growth In Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401102135.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2009, April 3). Blood Protein May Hold Key To Stopping Tumor Growth In Cancer Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401102135.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Blood Protein May Hold Key To Stopping Tumor Growth In Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401102135.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins