Blood protein inhibits cancer growth

1 July 2013

A study has found that a protein occurring naturally in the blood inhibits the growth of tumours.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study indicates that decorin could potentially be used as a means of cancer treatment.

Previous research has found that the protein affects the healing of wounds, the formation of new blood vessels from old ones and inflammatory responses.

But the senior investigator on this new study, Renato Iozzo, says that decorin is also a “soluble tumour repressor” - the first to be found that specifically targets new blood vessels which are being forced by the cancer to keep growing. By forcing the cells in the blood vessel to “eat” their own internal components, the protein reduces the risk that they might feed the cancer overall.

Dr Iozzo described the study’s results as “an exciting finding that we believe will open up a new avenue for both basic research and clinical application”.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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