New target for the fight against cancer as a result of excessive blood vessel formation

August 1, 2013

New blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) stimulates the growth of cancer and other diseases. Anti-angiogenic inhibitors slow down cancer growth by disrupting the blood supply to the tumor. To date, the success of these treatments is limited by resistance, poor efficiency and harmful side effects. In the leading scientific journal Cell, Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven) and his team reported that sugar metabolism (a process that we call glycolysis) also plays an essential role in the formation of new blood vessels. These totally revolutionary insights open up many new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of cancer and diseases as a result of excessive blood vessel formation.

Every growing cell in our body is provided with oxygen and nutrients via our blood vessels.

Blood vessels are formed by which line the inside wall of the vessel. These cells require energy to be able to form new blood vessels. However, it was not known how these cells produced the required energy and it was never considered to inhibit the energy production process in order to block angiogenesis.

Under the guidance of Peter Carmeliet, a team consisting of Katrien De Bock, Maria Georgiadou and Sandra Schoors discovered that glycolysis is the most important mechanism for endothelial cells to supply energy for . Peter Carmeliet and his team demonstrated that endothelial cells can be paralyzed by blocking glycolysis and consequently stop to form blood vessels. This is the first evidence that starvation of endothelial cells could offer new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of excessive angiogenesis in diseases (like cancer).

Peter Carmeliet: "Our discovery opens up a whole new domain for inhibition of angiogenesis in various diseases such as cancer. Endothelial cells need nutrients and energy for growth and if you take away their energy, you can prevent them from forming new blood vessels".

Explore further: Researcher uses micro-fabricated blood vessels to study tumor growth and anti-angiogenic cancer therapy

Related Stories

Researcher uses micro-fabricated blood vessels to study tumor growth and anti-angiogenic cancer therapy

July 31, 2013
Researchers have established a 3-D microfluidic system to study a biological process known as endothelial sprouting. This process represents an early step in new blood vessel growth called angiogenesis.

Protein responsible for 'bad' blood vessel growth discovered

July 17, 2013
The discovery of a protein that encourages blood vessel growth, and especially 'bad' blood vessels – the kind that characterise diseases as diverse as cancer, age-related macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis – ...

Cholesterol sets off chaotic blood vessel growth

May 29, 2013
A study at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine identified a protein that is responsible for regulating blood vessel growth by mediating the efficient removal of cholesterol from the cells. Unregulated ...

Researchers discover new blood vessel-generating cell with therapeutic potential

October 16, 2012
Researchers at the University of Helsinki believe they have discovered stem cells that play a decisive role in the growth of new blood vessels. If researchers learn to isolate and efficiently produce these stem cells found ...

Double drug combo could shut down abnormal blood vessel growth that feeds disease

September 10, 2012
A new study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College shows combining two already-FDA approved drugs may offer a new and potent punch against diseases in which blood vessel growth is abnormal—such as cancer, diabetic ...

Recommended for you

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct

July 24, 2017
Powerful molecules can hitch rides on a plentiful human protein and signal tumors to self-destruct, a team of Vanderbilt University engineers found.

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

July 24, 2017
A new way of producing the seasonal flu vaccine could speed up the process and provide better protection against infection.

Researchers develop new method to generate human antibodies

July 24, 2017
An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The technique, which will be described in a paper to be published July 24 in The Journal of Experimental ...

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

July 20, 2017
Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising ...

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

'Smart' robot technology could give stroke rehab a boost

July 19, 2017
Scientists say they have developed a "smart" robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.