Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women worldwide and is the leading cause of cancer death for women in developing countries. In new research Douglas Hanahan (University of California San Francisco, USA) and colleagues investigate how cell signaling in the stroma -- the tissue that surrounds a tumor -- plays a role in the progression of cervical cancer.
Using a mouse model of cervical cancer, the researchers looked at a protein that is made by the tumor cells known as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The research finds that the signaling in the stromal cells triggered by the release of this protein stimulates the growth of the tumor.
In a separate perspective article, Rakesh Jain (Harvard Medical School, USA) and colleagues, who were not involved in the study, suggest that the results offer a "foundation for development of new approaches to the treatment of cervical cancer" that target PDGF signaling to slow the progression of the disease.
Citation: Pietras K, Pahler J, Bergers G, Hanahan D (2008) Functions of paracrine PDGF signaling in the proangiogenic tumor stroma revealed by pharmacological targeting. PLoS Med 5(1): e19. http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050019
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