For several years now, the VIB researchers have been investigating a new angiogenetic growth factor: the placental growth factor, or PLGF. Oddly enough, PLGF only stimulates blood vessel formation in cancer and other diseases, but not in a fetus, young children or pregnant women.
New cancer therapy?
VIB researcher Christian Fischer and his colleagues − under the direction of Peter Carmeliet and in close collaboration with the biotech company ThromboGenics directed by Dsir Collen − have been studying the therapeutic possibilities of anti-PLGF, which retards the action of PLGF. Anti-PLGF not only increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy and the current anti-angiogenesis therapy, but it also inhibits the growth and metastasis of tumors that are resistant to existing drugs. In contrast to the current therapies, anti-PLGF does not trigger a rescue operation in which other growth factors are produced as compensation. Another very important consideration is that anti-PLGF induces absolutely no side effects.
The favorable evaluation of anti-PLGF as a potential cancer treatment raises hope for a more effective cancer therapy with fewer side effects − which can be used with children and pregnant women, too. Furthermore, new results indicate that anti-PLGF can also be useful for the treatment of diseases of the eye that lead to blindness. ThromboGenics is focusing on the furt
|Contact: Evy Vierstraete|
VIB, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology