Tumor blood vessel protein provides potential therapeutic target

August 27, 2014

Tumor blood vessels supply oxygen and nutrients to cancer cells and provide access to other organs. While tumor vasculature shares many features with normal vessels, their unique characteristics are potential therapeutic targets.

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a tumor vessel-specific protein, L1 that can be targeted to reduce .

Using a mouse pancreatic cancer model, Ugo Cavallaro and colleagues at the European Institute of Oncology found that loss of L1 reduced tumor blood vessel formation, which inhibited growth and metastasis. In patients with pancreatic cancer, L1 was present within and not in vessels of healthy tissue.

The results from this study suggest that targeting L1 has potential as a cancer-limiting strategy.

Explore further: Starving pancreatic cancer before it has a chance to feast

More information: Endothelial deficiency of the adhesion molecule L1 reduces tumor angiogenesis and promotes vessel normalization, J Clin Invest. DOI: 10.1172/JCI70683

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