A team of Korean scientists opened up the possibility of developing a new anti-cancer treatment method by first discovering core genes that regulate “cancerous blood vessels” that cancer cells make for their growth.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on December 25 that the team led by Kwon Young-keun, a professor at Yonsei University found out that “CLEC14A” Gene is a key gene controlling 'vascular endothelial growth factor receptor' promoting the creation of cancerous blood vessels.
Cancer cells make blood vessels around themselves to receive nutrients. However, cancerous blood vessels are more unstable in structures and functions than normal blood vessels so that blood or oxygen flows are not smooth in cancerous blood vessels. This fact hampers cancer drugs’ travel to cancer cells. Therefore, studies on increasing anti-cancer effects by controlling cancer blood vessels are being actively conducted all over the world.
The researchers found the key genes that determine the structure of cancerous blood vessels and proved them through animal experiments.
They injected cancer cells into mice bereft of CLEC14A Gene, triggering the excessive bleeding of abnormal blood vessels compared with normal mice, resulting in significantly lower survival rates. These results were consistent with recent research results that lower levels of CLEC14A Gene expression were associated with lower survival rates of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer or kidney cancer, they explained.
The results of this study were published in the Journal of Clinical Studies, an international academic journal.