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Solid tumor cells not killed by radiation and chemotherapy become stronger
Date:6/9/2008

tumors. In fact, however, oxygen levels cycle up and down virtually everywhere in the tumor, which is caused by fluctuations in blood flow rate. It has been a challenge to convince people of this."

Dewhirst and colleagues have made movies of oxygen transport in a tumor of a living animal that show the oxygen levels cycle up and down significantly, pulsing in waves seen as color changes in the movies. (View these movies at the Nature Reviews Cancer site: http://www.nature.com/nrc/journal/v8/n6/suppinfo/nrc2397.html )

The Duke team argues that blocking HIF1 is the consistent answer to tumor growth problems. Blocking HIF1 activity interferes with the tumor's ability to undergo glycolysis (energy production) in low-oxygen conditions, which blocks tumor growth, the authors wrote. Exactly how to accomplish chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the safest, most effective ways, in combination with HIF1 blockade, is still open for exploration, Dewhirst said.

For example, targeting HIF1 in the early stages of tumor growth, especially in very early cancer spread, may help, Dewhirst said. "For a woman who has had a primary breast tumor removed, and who is at high risk for cancer spread, this might be a situation in which you'd target HIF1," he explained. "Blocking HIF1 makes sense during the early stages of angiogenesis, which is the accelerated phase of blood vessel formation. In this way, you could keep the early metastasis sites inactive and prevent them from growing."

The Duke team has completed a phase I trial with a HIF1 inhibitor. "We are actively pursuing this clinically and will be moving this study into Phase 2," Dewhirst said. "We are interested in other applications of HIF-1 inhibition in combination with radiation and chemotherapy for different diseases."


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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