In addition to blood vasculature, tumour growth induces the development of lymphatic vessels in a similar process called lymphangiogenesis that plays a key role in tissuefluid homeostasis, as a tissue-drainage system. Recent studies also demonstrated the critical importance of this lymphatic vasculature for the metastatic spread of tumour cells.
In the last decades, the extensive research in the field of tumour-derived angiogenesis led to the identification of several angiogenic targets that can be effectively blocked in order to prevent the formation of new blood vessels in tumours, starving them of oxygen and nutrients and thereby preventing their growth.
As a result of these researches, several antibodies have been successfully developed and have demonstrated clinical utility in treating several tumour types, such as bevacizumab (Avastin), which is based on the inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that promotes endothelial cell proliferation, migration and differentiation.
However, recent emerging experimental and clinical evidence suggests that tumours treated with this antiangiogenic strategy may eventually develop resistance to therapy and exhibit a progression to greater invasiveness. Therefore, there is a pressing need to explore other angiogenic targets that can be used therapeutically, such as the one validated by CNIO researchers in the study now published in Blood.
|Contact: Juan J. Gomez|
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)