Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGR) inhibitor are a class of drugs those try to deprive the cancerous growths of blood supply. In this way it is thought to reduce the size of tumour, and may be able to complete regression of it.
Sometimes it may have toxicity.
The new research is yet to be tested in human but is promising in zebra fish and mice.
Natural plant compound blocks vessel growth by interfering with cellular adhesion
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have discovered the first of an entirely new class of antiangiogenesis drugs – agents that interfere with the development of blood vessels. In a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences/Early Edition, the investigators describe how a compound derived from a South American tree was able, through a novel mechanism, to interfere with blood vessel formation in animal models of normal development, wound healing and tumor growth.
One of two compounds identified by this process was dehydro-alpha-lapachone (DAL), derived from Tabebuia avellanedae, a tree native to Argentina and Brazil. Since DAL has structural similarities to another agent with antitumor activities and did not appear to be toxic, it was chosen for further investigation. The researchers first showed that DAL administration interfered with blood vessel formation in zebrafish, both during embryonic development and wound healing. They then found that it reduced the vascular density of tumors implanted in mice and, with daily treatment, significantly reduced tumor growth with no signs of toxicity.
“Most of the FDA-approved antiangiogenesis drugs inhibit the pathway controlled by vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF, which directly stimulates blood vessel development,” says Igor Garkavtsev, MD, PhD, of the Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at MGH, lead author of the study. “Although these drugs have become standard treatments for several types of cancer, they only provide modest benefit in terms of extending patient survival, so more effective drugs targeting tumor vasculature are needed.”