Matthew Edin, Ph.D., a research fellow in Zeldin's group, is one of the authors on the paper and helped develop the mice strains. He said EETs directly lead to the creation of new blood vessels, also known as angiogenesis, which the cancer cells need in order to receive oxygen and nutrients to grow. He equated the process to what happens when a builder begins constructing a new housing development.
"One of the first things construction crews have to do is build the roads, so that materials and workers can be transported to the site," Edin said. "In cancer, EETs accelerate the road building, allowing the housing development to expand quickly."
According to Dipak Panigrahy, M.D., an author on the paper and a research associate at the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, EETs have a potent stimulatory effect promoting cancer growth and metastasis, a process that could be effectively inhibited using novel antagonists, such as EEZE, which are compounds that interfere with this pathway in mice. EEZE has not been approved for human use, and is only used for research.
"EEZE is structurally similar to EETs, but it blocks the effect of EETs and dramatically slows tumorigenesis," Panigrahy explained.
Mark Kieran, M.D., Ph.D., another author of this collaborative study and also from Dana-Farber, commented on the importance of the research.
"The identification of an old pathway studied for many years in cardiovascular disease has found a new role in regulating cancer growth and metastasis, the primary causes of cancer related deaths," he said. "With these findings, opportunities to better understand the underlying mechanisms that drive cancer, and thus the development of effective therapies for their treatment, moves one step closer to a rea
|Contact: Robin Arnette|
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences