Finding Ways to Starve the Cancer Seed

Oncologists often describe cancer as a seed that grows in the body's soil. For these seeds to become tumors, the "soil" must be stocked with nutrients such as growth factors to help them proliferate. "Cancer is not a single-cell disease but involves cancer cells and how they collaborate or cooperate with surrounding cells," says Leland Chung, director of molecular urology and therapeutics at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine. New approaches to starving cancer cells fi

Mignon Fogarty
May 26, 2002
Oncologists often describe cancer as a seed that grows in the body's soil. For these seeds to become tumors, the "soil" must be stocked with nutrients such as growth factors to help them proliferate. "Cancer is not a single-cell disease but involves cancer cells and how they collaborate or cooperate with surrounding cells," says Leland Chung, director of molecular urology and therapeutics at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine. New approaches to starving cancer cells figured prominently at the recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in San Francisco.

Blood vessels feed tumors and remove waste products, and they are necessary for tumor growth. Inhibiting this blood vessel growth could prevent tumor growth. "The whole concept is so fundamentally sound," says J. Clifford Murray, University of Nottingham Cancer Research Campaign Department of Clinical Oncology. "The endothelial cell [lining the blood vessels] is immediately...

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