A group of Harvard researchers at Boston Children's Hospital say they have cured cancer in mice by applying new methodology to a standard cancer treatment--chemotherapy.
In the April 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research, Dr. Timothy M. Browder, an oncologist and Harvard instructor in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital, and a group of his colleagues presented data from a five-year study which sought to examine the effect of targeting a tumor's blood supply rather than the tumor directly.
The data give statistical support to a long-suspected theory that cutting off a tumor's blood supply may shrink it. The article reports that when lower doses of traditional chemotherapy drugs were given more frequently to inhibit blood cell growth--known as angiogenesis--in test mice, 100 percent of drug-sensitive tumors were cured.
In mice whose cancer had become resistant to traditional chemotherapy schedules, the new treatment regimen was three times as effective as the standard regimen in suppressing tumor growth. The standard regimen entails higher doses of chemotherapy drugs, administered less frequently.
"The bottom line is that it's old drugs, new logic," said Harvard Medical School's Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery M. Judah Folkman, who heads the laboratory where the study was conducted.
The study also examined the effect of combining the traditional chemotherapy drugs with an experimental drug that attacks the tumor's blood supply. According to the report, 84 percent of mice with tumors that were unresponsive to traditional chemotherapy drugs were cured when the standard chemotherapy drug was combined with a low dose of an angiogenesis inhibitor.
The inhibitor, TNP-470, doesn't attack the tumor itself but instead targets the blood vessels.
Because the tumors in question had been unresponsive to the traditional chemotherapy treatment, Folkman said, the study lends support to the theory that it is possible to halt and reverse cancer growth in mice with a "flanking maneuver"--targeting blood cells surrounding the tumor but not the tumor itself.
Cancer Cure AnticipatedDue to the pioneering research of Dr. M. Judah Folkman, Dyckman Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Children's Hospital and Professor
Folkman Finds Anti-Cancer SubstanceResearchers at Boston Children's Hospital have discovered a naturally occurring protein fragment which has been shown to inhibit tumor growth
Cancer No Match For Delaney-SmithWhen Harvard women's basketball coach Kathy Delaney-Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer last winter, her immediate instinct--after recovering from the
No Cure Yet, But Success at an Early StageUsing tools no more complicated than a microscope, a calculator and some common sense, cancer researchers at Harvard Medical School
Professor’s Research Aids Cancer DrugAn anti-cancer drug based on the research of a Harvard professor has passed the clinical trial stage—a major milestone for
Harvard Doctor Pioneers Cancer DrugThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug last Thursday anticipated to be a revolutionary development in the fight