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Taking the fight against cancer to heart
Date:2/26/2008

BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 25, 2008) Hormones produced by the heart eliminated human pancreatic cancer in more than three-quarters of the mice treated with the hormones and eliminated human breast cancer in two-thirds of the mice, according to researcher David Vesely, a doctor at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa and a professor at the University of South Florida (USF).

The treatment has not yet been tried in humans, but a private biotechnology company is raising money in the hope of beginning human trials. Vesely is the hospitals chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and is also professor of medicine, molecular pharmacology and physiology at USF.

He will present his research at a symposium April 9 at the Experimental Biology 2008 conference in San Diego. The American Federation for Medical Research sponsors the session, which takes place during the annual meeting of The American Physiological Society.

The discovery of cardiac hormones

For more than 350 years, scientists and physicians thought the heart was a pump, delivering blood and oxygen to the body. But that view changed dramatically in 1981 when Adolfo deBold discovered that the heart produces atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), so-named because it is produced in the atrium of the heart and stimulates the production of urine and the excretion of sodium.

Vesely later discovered three more hormones that are produced from the same gene as ANF. He called them:

  • Long acting natriuretic peptide, which also stimulates urine production and sodium excretion.

  • Vessel dilator which opens the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure

  • Kaliuretic peptide which increases potassium excretion

The hormones, called peptide hormones because they are composed of amino acids, help regulate blood volume and blood pressure. Most hormones, including such well-known hormones as insulin, are peptide h
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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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