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Study shows blood markers can help choose best dose for antiangiogenic drugs
Date:10/25/2007

that, in addition to the molecular changes observed in the clinic, there were many other proteins that were also elevated after treatment. Ironically, many of these have been shown to have angiogenesis promoting properties and Kerbels team is now investigating the possible implications of these findings. The fact that these molecular changes occur independent of the tumor and involve many proteins that are unrelated to the drug activity, could explain why they have not been useful so far as predictors of patient benefit. They could also contribute to some of the observed drug associated toxicities seen with these drugs, play a role in drug resistance, and even may explain some recent observations where tumors rapidly regrow in some patients when therapy is stopped, using antiangiogenic drugs says Dr. Kerbel, who is also a professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Laboratory Medicine/Pathobiology at University of Toronto. We are testing these hypotheses now.

In the study, the research team used a class of drugs designed to block the activation of receptors (known as receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, or RTKIs) activated by an important regulator of angiogenesis called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The drug they used is called sunitinib which is used for the treatment of kidney cancer, and is now being evaluated for its effects on many other types of cancer. Dr. Kerbels results have led to collaborations between his team and several medical oncologists leading clinical trials at Sunnybrooks Odette Cancer Centre involving late stage kidney cancer and early stage breast cancer therapy with the aim to determine if these preclinical findings are observed in patients, and if so, how the results might be exploited in the future to improve the benefits of antiangiogenic drugs for cancer treatment. This is a major goal of the Toronto Angiogenesis Research Centre established at Sunnybrook with the support of an infrastructure grant from th
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Contact: Natalie Chung-Sayers
natalie.chung-sayers@sunnybrook.ca
416-480-4040
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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