Biomarker can help identify cancer chemotherapy timing

A new biomarker capable of identifying cancer chemotherapy timing has been developed by a team of researchers with findings reported in The American Journal of Pathology.

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan point out that their study could be a ray of hope for doctors to identify the tumor normalizing period for effective timing of anti-cancer drug treatment, a team of researchers have discovered a new biomarker that can visualize the activity of blood vessels. Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for tumor growth.

In the study researchers describe a vascular stabilization biomarker that can visualize blood vessel activity, thus optimizing the timing of anticancer therapies including anti-angiogenics.

Combination therapy using angiogenesis inhibitors and anticancer drugs can improve drug delivery into tumour tissues and prolong progression-free survival.

“Vascular normalisation by angiogenesis inhibitors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling inhibitors, is a promising method for improvement of chemotherapy.

“However, it is unclear how we can recognise the ‘window of opportunity’ for the tumour vascular normalising period for effective timing of anti-cancer drug treatment. Therefore, biomarkers delineating this window are essential,” explained Nobuyuki Takakura, Professor at Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University.

Angiogenesis therapy is clinically used to suppress tumour growth.

Adding an anti-angiogenic drug can boost an anticancer drug’s effectiveness.

Basic research indicates that anti-angiogenic therapy allows the blood vessels to return to quiescence and “normalize” so that the anti-cancer drug can penetrate the tumor more effectively.