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Angiogenesis linked to poor survival in patients with rare type of ovarian cancer
Date:2/5/2009

icators of angiogenesis: expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein and high microvessel density (MVD), or a large number of blood vessels associated with the tumor. Of those tumors studied, VEGF overexpression was noted in 52 percent and a high MVD was present in 32 percent. Both high MVD and VEGF were linked to significantly poorer survival (130 months versus 415 months in those with high MVD and 154 months versus 394 months in those with VEGF overexpression). Researchers noted that high MVD was also associated with recurrence and metastasis to other locations such as the abdomen, liver, lung and bone.

"Unlike most ovarian tumors which metastasize to nearby tissues or invade the lymphatic system, we suspect that the biological qualities of sex cord-stromal tumors, especially their ability to spread to and survive in distant sites of the body, explain why this type of ovarian cancer behaves so differently in patients," said Anil Sood, M.D., professor in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology at M. D. Anderson and senior author on the study. "By honing in on how sex cord-stromal tumors utilize the blood vessels to become deadly, we can begin to test targeted anti-angiogenic therapies as possible means to control their growth."

Anti-angiogenic agents have been used in other cancers including colorectal, breast, lung and kidney cancers to slow tumor growth. Brown is currently the principal investigator on a Gynecologic Oncology Group Phase II clinical trial at M. D. Anderson to test the efficacy of bevacizumab (Avastin), a drug that blocks angiogenesis through antibodies against VEGF, in patients with sex cord-stromal tumors.


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Contact: Lindsay Anderson
lindsay.anderson@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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