Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria medicine chloroquine inhibits tumor growth, metastases, study shows

Date:
August 11, 2014
Source:
VIB - Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology
Summary:
The anti-cancer effect of the antimalarial agent chloroquine when combined with conventional chemotherapy has been well documented. To date, it was assumed that chloroquine increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy by means of a direct effect on the cancer cells.However, a recent study has demonstrated that chloroquine also normalizes the abnormal blood vessels in tumors. This blood vessel normalization results in an increased barrier function on the one hand, and in enhanced tumor perfusion on the other hand, which increases the response of the tumor to chemotherapy.

The anti-cancer effect of the antimalarial agent chloroquine when combined with conventional chemotherapy has been well documented in experimental animal models. To date, it was assumed that chloroquine increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy by means of a direct effect on the cancer cells. However, a recent study by investigators at VIB and KU Leuven has demonstrated that chloroquine also normalizes the abnormal blood vessels in tumors. This blood vessel normalization results in an increased barrier function on the one hand -- thereby blocking cancer cell dissemination and metastasis- and in enhanced tumor perfusion on the other hand, which increases the response of the tumor to chemotherapy.

Related Articles


Chloroquine is a well-known medicine with a good safety profile that has been in use since World War 2 for the treatment of malaria and certain auto-immune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. More recently, chloroquine has also been used in anti-cancer treatment. Chloroquine blocks autophagy, a process that cancer cells use to survive to anti-cancer treatments. Therefore, blocking autophagy would reduce the resistance of the cancer cells to chemotherapy.

Normalization of abnormal tumor blood vessels

Hannelore Maes from the team of Patrizia Agostinis (KU Leuven), together with Anna Kuchnio from the team of Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven) have started a study to explain how chloroquine can strengthen the effect of anti-cancer treatments.

"Although it is assumed that chloroquine strengthens anti-cancer treatment by blocking autophagy, there is little in vivo evidence that this is the only way in which chloroquine works. In this study, we found that chloroquine not only has an effect on the growth of the cancer cells, but also makes the tumor environment less aggressive by normalizing the abnormal blood vessels in the tumor," says Patrizia Agostinis.

Peter Carmeliet: "Blood vessel normalization results in improved tumor perfusion. This reduces the aggressive nature of the cancer cells and means that the anti-cancer medicines are better able to reach the cancer cells, which makes chemotherapy more effective. In addition, tumor blood vessel normalization also increases the barrier function of the blood vessels, which reduces the access of cancer cells to the circulation -- the most important transport system for the spreading of cancer cells to other tissues. Therefore, chloroquine can nip the metastatic spreading of cancer cells in the bud, which is the most important therapeutic goal in any tumor treatment."

Disadvantages do not outweigh the benefits -- the impact of this study on the use of chloroquine in anti-cancer treatment

This study forms a new rationale for the use of chloroquine in anti-cancer treatment. With a view to clinical studies (tests on humans) it is important to note that the effects on the tumor vasculature were even observed at chloroquine concentrations that had little effect on autophagy in the cancer cells. This sheds new light on the therapeutic schedule for combination therapy with chloroquine, which could result in decreased toxicity. In other words, the same "old" medicine simultaneously targets the cancer cells themselves and the blood vessels with great efficiency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB - Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

VIB - Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology. "Malaria medicine chloroquine inhibits tumor growth, metastases, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811132314.htm>.
VIB - Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology. (2014, August 11). Malaria medicine chloroquine inhibits tumor growth, metastases, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811132314.htm
VIB - Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology. "Malaria medicine chloroquine inhibits tumor growth, metastases, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811132314.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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