Over-The-Counter NSAIDs May Reduce Cancer Metastasis Risk, Study
By Yuka Suzuki | Featured Research
February 17, 2012
A new study proposes that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may be useful in stopping the spread of cancer cells via the lymphatic system.
AsianScientist (Feb. 17, 2012) – A new study from Melbourne characterizes the key growth factors that are involved in promoting the spread of cancer (metastasis) and proposes that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication may help to stop its spread.
Led by Dr. Steven Stacker from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, the team proposes that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, more commonly known as NSAIDs, may reduce the diameter of a type of vessel that transports lymphatic fluid, thus restricting the spread of cancer cells.
The study, published this week in the journal Cancer Cell, showed a correlation of increased cellular expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) with cancer metastasis and poorer patient survival.
VEGF-D, an important growth factor in angiogenesis, is produced by tumors to attract endothelial cells to grow towards them and form blood vessels, providing a route to escape to other regions in the body via the circulatory system.
While the angiogenesis pathway is well characterized, the mechanism by which cancer cells use VEGF-D to escape by the lymphatic system is not well studied.
Using metastatic mouse models, Stacker and colleagues showed that while VEGF-D secreted by cancer cells promoted dilation of the lymphatic vessels, NSAIDs, on the other hand, inhibited prostaglandin synthesis and reduced vessel dilation, restricting the cancer from spreading.
Stacker believes that the team’s discovery may increase research into the link between NSAIDs and cancer metastasis.
“These insights may assist with the design of additional therapeutics for cancer patients and enhance current approaches that aim to prevent the spread of cancer cells through the lymphatic system and potentially to distant organs.” said Stacker.
Source: Cell Press.
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