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Combining 2 peptide inhibitors might block tumor growth
Date:3/14/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio A new study suggests that combining two experimental anticancer peptide agents might simultaneously block formation of new tumor blood vessels while also inhibiting the growth of tumor cells.

This early test of the two agents in a breast cancer model suggests that the double hit can stifle tumor progression, avoid drug resistance and cause few side effects, say researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC James) who developed the agents and evaluated their effectiveness in laboratory and animal tests.

The scientists designed one of the agents to prevent human epithelial growth factor from interacting with HER-2, a molecule that marks a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. The other inhibitor blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow beyond a certain size.

The findings are described in two papers published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. One presents the development of a novel VEGF inhibitor; the other describes the HER-2 inhibitor and the preclinical testing of the two agents together.

"When we combined our peptide HER-2 inhibitor with the VEGF peptide that inhibits angiogenesis, we observed significant additive benefits in reducing tumor burdens in preclinical studies," says principal investigator Pravin Kaumaya, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, of molecular and cellular biochemistry, and of microbiology, and director of the division of vaccine development at the OSUCCC James.

The strategy of targeting both HER-2 and VEGF pathways should also discourage the development of drug resistance, Kaumaya says, because it simultaneously inhibits two pathways that are essential for tumor survival. "Combined peptide inhibitors might be appropriate in several types of cancer to overcome ac
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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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