New Orleans, LA Dr. Eugene Woltering, the James D. Rives Professor of Surgery and Neurosciences at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Conrad Hornick, former LSUHSC Professor of Physiology, have been awarded a US Patent for a compound to inhibit the formation of blood vessels critical to the growth of cancerous tumors and diseases like diabetic retinopathy, obesity, and psoriasis.
Apolipoprotein A-I is the major protein component of lipoproteins water soluble carrier molecules that transport cholesterol through the blood. LSUHSC researchers discovered that it can be used to destroy existing blood vessels as well as prevent the development of new vessels. For a tumor to grow bigger than 2 mm, the diameter of a large grain of sand, it must a have blood supply. Application of Apoliporpotein A-1 and high density lipoprotein has been proven effective in inhibiting tumor growth dependent upon angiogenesisthe process of developing new blood vessels. Studies have demonstrated that the level of vascularization in a tumor is strongly associated with metastasis in melanoma, breast, and lung carcinomas.
"This patent was based on the observation that lipid droplets are critical to the formation of the lumen of the blood vessels. By removing these fat droplets from the developing blood vessel we feel that we will be able to control the growth of new blood vessels that would feed tumors," notes Dr. Woltering.
There is also evidence that Apolipoprotein A-1 will be effective in treating other diseases reliant upon angiogenesis. In those diseases, angiogenesis is the root cause of tissue injury, including blindness associated with proliferative retinopathies, skin disorders such as psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Diseases that have been associated with abnormal blood vessel formation include Crohn's disease, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, obesity, corneal neovascularization, benign tumors,
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Louisiana State University Health Science Center