Genetic form of anemia offers new avenue to treating drug-resistant tumors

Posted By News On January 9, 2013 - 10:30pm
Genetic form of anemia offers new avenue to treating drug-resistant tumors

Terman explains, "Sickle cells, unlike normal red blood cells, stick like Velcro to tumor blood vessels where they cluster and shut down the blood supply of oxygen deprived tumors. Once clumped within the tumor, the sickle cells rupture releasing toxic residues that promote tumor cell death."

This new approach differs from current treatment of such hypoxic solid tumors by targeting both the cancer cell and surrounding blood vessels suggesting that sickle cells may be "a potent new tool for treatment of hypoxic solid tumors."

This is an intravital microscopy of the skin window of tumors in mice injected with SSRBCs or NLRBCs.

(Photo Credit: Citation: Terman DS, Viglianti BL, Zennadi R, Fels D, Boruta RJ, et al. (2013) Sickle Erythrocytes Target Cytotoxics to Hypoxic Tumor Microvessels and Potentiate a Tumoricidal Response. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52543. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052543)

This shows severely hypoxic areas of a breast tumor (Black and dark blue on right), where sickle cells clump and bind.

(Photo Credit: Terman DS, Viglianti BL, Zennadi R, Fels D, Boruta RJ, et al. (2013) Sickle Erythrocytes Target Cytotoxics to Hypoxic Tumor Microvessels and Potentiate a Tumoricidal Response. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52543. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052543)

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