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Immune cells promote blood vessel formation in mouse endometriosis
Date:10/18/2007

support endothelial cells that build the new blood vessels.

"We believe that targeting dendritic cells may prove to be a promising strategy for treating conditions dependent on angiogenesis, such as endometriosis and cancer," says Fainaru. But first, the team must demonstrate that dendritic cells are essentialthat without these cells in mice, new blood vessels do not form.

"Our next step would be to look for specific dendritic cell inhibitors that could have the potential to block angiogenesis in these conditions," says Fainaru.

The team hopes to develop cell-specific therapy for angiogenesis-dependent diseases that will be more effective and less toxic than current treatments. Currently, the most effective treatment for endometriosis is surgically removing the lesions, but this does not prevent them from growing backas large and symptomatic as before. If dendritic cells are indeed ringmasters and not sideliners in new blood vessel growth, locally knocking them out just after an initial surgery, or altering them in some way, could render the lesions tiny and harmless.

Similarly, potential dendritic-cell inhibitors, when added to other agents that stop new blood vessels from forming, could enhance doctors ability to choke off growing tumors, Fainaru adds.


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Contact: Bess Andrews
elizabeth.andrews@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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