cancer in its tracks
of the reason lies in when the cancer is diagnosed, but part of
it lies in the genetic mechanisms of cancer. The aggressive ones
start earlier in a man's life and spread to other sites in the body
- the dreaded metastasis.
research is aimed at halting this process by developing new drugs
that inhibit urokinase plasminogen activator (u-PA), an enzyme that
scientists believe helps tumors develop new blood vessels for oxygen
and other nutrients, a process called angiogenesis.
identified in 1937, angiogenesis is crucial for human development.
It's how eggs become implanted into the placenta and how we develop
into normal, healthy babies. In adults, it helps in wound healing.
1972 Harvard researcher Dr. Judah Folkman first proposed that angiogenesis
also helps tumors to form new blood vessels, and that cutting off
the tumor's blood supply could save lives. Angiogenesis research
is now one of the hottest areas of cancer drug development. Evans
estimates that at least a dozen angiogenesis inhibitors are currently
being tested in clinical trials across the country, including a
Phase II trial at the UC Davis Cancer Center.
is critical to cancer progression. Without nutrients, the average
prostate tumor cannot grow beyond three millimeters - a little bigger
than the period at the end of this sentence. Once nourished, however,
"cancer cells can grow, gain access to the blood supply and
spread through the body," says Evans.
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In Translation |
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