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Blood-pressure drug may help improve cancer treatment

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Posted October 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.

Blood-pressure drug may help improve cancer treatment
Top image: Before treatment with the angiotensin inhibitor losartan, stresses within a tumor caused by the buildup of collagen (blue) compress blood vessels and restrict blood flow (green). Bottom image: After losartan treatment, blood vessels open up, restoring the blood flow required for effective chemotherapy. Credit: Vikash Chauhan, Ph.D., Steele Lab for Tumor Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital
 

“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   by repairing the abnormal structure of tumor  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 .”

 

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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