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A new study suggests that a neurotransmitter might improve the treatment of cancer
Date:12/5/2011

nd it leaves tumors oxygen deprived. This oxygen deprivation makes tumor cells resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.

Basu and his colleagues found that the dopamine treatment normalizes the structure of abnormal tumor blood vessels, indicating an important role for a neurotransmitter in the remodeling of blood vessels. Other key findings include the following:

  • The tumor tissue used in the study showed the absence of dopamine.
  • After dopamine treatment, tumor blood vessels in both cases resembled normal vessels in regard to leakiness and architecture. Pretreatment with a dopamine receptor antagonist negated this effect.
  • Subcutaneous human colon tumors in mice treated with dopamine and the chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) accumulated twice the amount of 5-FU as tumors in mice treated with the drug only.
  • Subcutaneous human colon tumors in mice treated with both dopamine and 5-FU were less than one-third the size of tumors in mice treated with 5-FU only.

"Overall, our findings suggest that the normalization of tumor blood vessels using the neurotransmitter dopamine might be an important approach for improving therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of cancer patients," Basu says.


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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
Darrell.Ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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