In a ray of hope for doctors to identify a tumour normalising period for the effective timing of anti-cancer drug treatment, a team of researchers have discovered a new biomarker that can visualise the activity of blood vessels.
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for tumour growth.
The team from Osaka University in Japan, in a paper reported in The American Journal of Pathology, described a vascular stabilization biomarker that can visualize blood vessel activity, thus optimising the timing of anticancer therapies including anti-angiogenic.
Combination therapy using angiogenesis inhibitors and anticancer drugs can improve drug delivery into tumour tissues and prolong progression-free survival.
“Vascular normalisation by angiogenesis inhibitors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signalling inhibitors, is a promising method for improvement of chemotherapy.
“However, it is unclear how we can recognise the ‘window of opportunity’ for a tumour vascular normalising period for the effective timing of anti-cancer drug treatment. Therefore, biomarkers delineating this window are essential,” explained Nobuyuki Takakura, Professor at Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University.
Angiogenesis therapy is clinically used to suppress tumour growth.
Adding an anti-angiogenic drug can boost an anticancer drug’s effectiveness.
Basic research indicates that anti-angiogenic therapy allows the blood vessels to return to quiescence and “normalise” so that the anti-cancer drug can penetrate a tumour more effectively.