Enhancing the Targeting of Tumor Blood Vessels in Lung Cancer
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is secreted by lung tumor cells to maintain and enhance the blood vessels in the tumor and in its vicinity supporting further tumor growth and invasion. An anti-VEGF drug is used to treat advanced lung cancer, but its effectiveness is limited as most patients quickly become resistant to its effects. We have found that intracellular concentration of a molecule called microRNA-1 in tumor blood vessels determines their response to VEGF. We will study the effect of this molecule on the growth of blood vessels in lung tumors and their progression in animal models. Our hope is to find a way to prevent resistance to anti-VEGF therapy and to identify a subset of patients who will benefit the most.