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Oklahoma scientists find way to slow cancer tumor growth in mice

Researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation discovered a way to slow cancer tumors from growing in mice by removing a protein that regulates the formation of blood vessels. In some cases, cancer growth was stopped altogether.

BY JACLYN COSGROVE Published: January 25, 2013
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/articleid/3748905/1/pictures/1935995">Photo - Scientists and researchers Yunzhou Dong, Hong Chen, Satish Pasula and Xiaofeng Cai made a recent discovery that could help improve cancer therapy. Photo by Jaclyn Cosgrove, The Oklahoman
Scientists and researchers Yunzhou Dong, Hong Chen, Satish Pasula and Xiaofeng Cai made a recent discovery that could help improve cancer therapy. Photo by Jaclyn Cosgrove, The Oklahoman

“When we looked closer, we noticed that the blood vessels didn’t function properly.”

The research was done using mice bred without epsins and also using human cells in a Petri dish.

The research is far from over, but it is a step that could lead to some interesting new therapies, Chen said.

For example, if doctors could slow or stop a cancer tumor from growing, it could mean more time to treat the patient. It could also mean less of a chance the tumor would continue to grow and damage the body.

“Obviously, we don’t want cancers growing large, so we are trying to better understand the mechanics of angiogenesis — the creation of blood vessels — which led us to experiment with epsins,” Chen said in a news release.

The initial findings give a better understanding of the role epsins play. With a tumor, there’s a higher density of epsins than in the rest of the body, Chen said.

The next step could be creating a drug that suppresses the creation of epsins.

Chen said it’s a promising first step that could lead to better treatments and outcomes for cancer patients.


Read the rest of the story on Oklahoman.com
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