Tuesday 06, Oct 2009
The positive effects of anti-angiogenesis drugs for the treatment of the deadly brain tumors (glioblastomas) gives an impression of originating primarily from edema reduction and not from any direct anti-tumor effect.
According to Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, director of the Steele Laboratory in the MGH Department of Radiation Oncology, the study’s co-senior author, the findings of this study suggest that antiangiogenesis therapy can even prove to be effective when it comes to improving patient survival in cases of persistent tumor growth.
“This is the first paper to show that vascular normalization alone, without chemotherapy, can be effective against some tumors by controlling edema and that this anti-edema effect is better than that of currently used steroids,” Jain says. “Unfortunately, these anti-VEGF agents did not slow the tumor growth rate in these models; and since recurrent glioblastomas are highly resistant to currently used chemotherapy drugs, even if vascular normalization increases drug delivery, there may be little or no additional increase in patient survival. We urgently need to find better anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic agents.”
Jain also notes that it will be important to identify biomarkers that may indicate which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors and to identify the mechanisms by which glioblastomas and other tumors resist anti-VEGF therapies. Jain is the Cook Professor of Tumor Biology and Sorensen is an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.
This study is expected to provide great help to physicians treating their patients with glioblastomas, the deadly brain tumors.
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