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Targeting blood vessel growth in cancer

  • Researcher: Dr Jeffrey Arbeit
  • Institution: Washington University in St Louis
  • Award Amount: £200,145 for 3 years from June 2013
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Targeting blood vessel growth in cancer

For tumours to grow bigger than a millimetre or two they need to establish their own blood supply otherwise they cannot get enough oxygen. Not surprisingly, trying to find ways to stop blood vessels growing in tumours is an important line of cancer research. Although some anti-blood vessel drugs are already available for cancer treatment, they do not work as well as originally hoped because we now know that the process of blood vessel growth in tumours is much more complicated than first thought. This project will look at two protein complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, and comprehensively examine the role they play in tumour blood vessel growth. Some preliminary studies in isolated cells have indicated that they are both important, but in order to know this for sure Dr Arbeit will study them using laboratory models that are a much better representation of real tumours. Drugs targeting the mTORC complexes are already in clinical development, so if the mTORC complexes are proven to be important regulators of blood vessel growth in tumors this project will help inform how these drugs could be used most effectively in cancer treatment.

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