Tumors rely on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to stimulate new blood vessels critical for their survival. In the February issue of Nature Medicine, Christopher Willett and colleagues highlight the effects of bevacizumab (Avastin), an antibody that inactivates VEGF, on blood vessels in rectal tumors.
The authors tested six patients with rectal cancer in a phase 1 clinical trial of the drug. They found that, in addition to decreasing interstitial fluid pressure and blood flow to the tumor, bevacizumab also reduces the density of tumor blood vessels. The results suggest that the antibody may also cause tumor vessels to function more normally.
The antivascular effects of bevacizumab, which has shown success in a clinical trial for colorectal cancer, might enhance the effects of standard chemotherapy agents, the researchers suggest.
Christopher G. Willett
Massachusetts General Hospital
Tel: +1 617 724 1548
Also available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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