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April 9, 2007

Treatment-induced Growth Factor Causes Cancer Progression

Topics: Medical Science News

Scientists at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have now linked a treatment-induced growth factor to the cancer's future spread. The researchers report that increased circulating and/or tumor TGF-beta in response to treatment may be a marker of tumors destined to progress rapidly after therapy, and that patients with such tumors might benefit from the addition of TGF-beta inhibitors to the primary therapy.

n the study, which appears online in advance of publication in the May print issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Carlos Arteaga and colleagues showed that treating mice with mammary tumors with either radiation or the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin increased the level of TGF-beta in their blood, the number of cancer cells in their blood, and the development of lung metastases. Treatment with an inhibitor of TGF-beta blocked the increased lung metastases, and mice whose tumors did not express the receptor for TGF-beta did not develop increased incidence of lung metastases after treatment with radiation - indicating that TGF-beta affects the cancer cells directly, enhancing their metastatic function. The study has important clinical implications and suggests that monitoring TGF-beta levels after primary therapy might indicate the patients most at risk of developing tumor metastases and that treatment with TGF-beta inhibitors might offer a clinical benefit.

More on the story here ...

Posted by Richard at April 9, 2007 1:22 PM

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