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heparan sulfate
Targeting sugar on blood vessels may inhibit cancer growth
By Dross at 2007-05-07 21:34
 

In a study that could point to novel therapies to prevent cancer spread, or metastasistermterm, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have targeted a sugar that supports blood vessel growth in the tumor. Their findings will be published in the May 7 on-line issue of Journal of Cell Biology.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death and an area where novel therapies to block metastasis are desperately needed, according to first author Mark M. Fuster, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in UCSD’s Department of Medicine. Solid tumors need a network of blood vessels, or vasculature, in order to grow, and this vasculature drives metastasis. The research team, led by the paper’s principal investigator Jeffrey D. Esko, Ph.D., professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UCSD, showed that modifying the action of heparan sulfate uniquely impacted the tumor vasculature, and in doing so, altered the growth rate of tumors prepared from lung carcinomaterm cells in the mice.

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