Based on this article from the Harvard Gazette about a study recently published in Cancer Cell, there may be reason to be concerned about the role of angiogenesis inhibitors in mesothelioma. The question for mesothelioma patients may provide further clarification by the large study taking place in multiple centers in France and Belgium exploring the addition of Bevacuzimab (Avastin) to Pemetrexed and Cisplatin. This trial was scheduled to be completed in December 2011.
Bevacuzimab was one of the first drugs to be approved in a variety of cancers. It is classified as a VEGF inhibitor (vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor). Dr. Folkman, a researcher and scientist, became world reknowned for his discovery of angiogenesis in cancer which focused on cutting off the blood supply to nourish and support tumor growth. A number of therapies have emerged including the use of these agents for age related macular degeneration and others have been approved in multiple tumors.
Tumor Cells Can Prevent Tumor Spread
A new study finds that a group of little-explored cells in the tumor microenvironment likely serves as an important gatekeeper against cancer progression and metastasis. Published in the Jan. 17 issue ofCancer Cell, the study’s findings suggest that antiangiogenic therapies — which shrink cancer by cutting off tumors’ blood supply — may be inadvertently making tumors more aggressive and likely to spread.
One approach to treating cancer targets angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth. In this new investigation, senior author Raghu Kalluri, chief of the Division of Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center(BIDMC) and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), wanted to find out if targeting a specific cell type, the pericyte, could inhibit tumor growth in the same way that other antiangiogenic drugs do. Pericytes are an important part of tissue vasculature, covering blood vessels and supporting their growth.
“If you just looked at tumor growth, the results were good,” says senior author Raghu Kalluri, chief of the Division of Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “But when you looked at the whole picture, inhibiting tumor vessels was not controlling cancer progression. The cancer was, in fact, spreading.” Courtesy of BIDMC