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How chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increases risk of lung cancer
Date:7/24/2012

aling by HIF-2a. This HIF-2a in turn activates cancer growth promoting mechanisms including VEGF and the EGFR ligand, TGFa, which are growth factors involved in stimulating cell proliferation and the development of new blood vessels," Miller says.

Likewise, just as tumors that arise in hypoxic conditions do so through turning on pathways that lead to the over-production of VEGF and TGFa, so too are these tumors especially susceptible to cancer therapies that block these growth factors. Sure enough, animal models given the drug vandetanib a combined VEGFR/EGFR inhibitor failed to develop cancer under hypoxic conditions.

"Chemoprevention hasn't been done successfully for lung cancer," Miller says, "but this approach of VEGF/EGFR inhibitors for patients with COPD and extreme lung cancer risk may be something that should be explored further."

Miller imagines the next step is a review of patient records to discover if COPD lung cancer patients who happened to be treated with VEGF/EGFR inhibitors, in fact, had better tumor response than patients with normal lung function and similar tumors.

"Right now it's not a treatment," Miller says, "but it's an exciting line of inquiry."


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Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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