Blood-pressure drug may help improve cancer treatment
PostedOctober 2, 2013
Use of existing, well-established hypertension drugs could improve the outcome of cancer chemotherapy by opening up collapsed blood vessels in solid tumors. In their report in the online journal Nature Communications, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe how the angiotensin inhibitor losartan improved the delivery of chemotherapy drugs and oxygen throughout tumors by increasing blood flow in mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer. A clinical trial based on the findings of this study is now underway.
“Angiotensin inhibitors are safe blood pressure medications that have been used for over a decade in patients and could be repurposed for cancer treatment,” explains Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, director of the Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at MGH and senior author of the study. “Unlike anti-angiogenesis drugs, which improve tumorblood flow by repairing the abnormal structure of tumor blood vessels, angiotensin inhibitors open up those vessels by releasing physical forces that are applied to tumor blood vessels when the gel-like matrix surrounding them expands with tumor growth.”