The phenomenon of inhibition of tumor growth by tumor mass has been repeatedly studied, but without elucidation of a satisfactory mechanism. In our animal model, a primary tumor inhibits its remote metastases. After tumor removal, metastases neovascularize and grow. When the primary tumor is present, metastatic growth is suppressed by a circulating angiogenesis inhibitor. Serum and urine from tumor-bearing mice, but not from controls, specifically inhibit endothelial cell proliferation. The activity copurifies with a 38 kDa plasminogen fragment that we have sequenced and named angiostatin. A corresponding fragment of human plasminogen has similar activity. Systemic administration of angiostatin, but not intact plasminogen, potently blocks neovascularization and growth of metastases. We here show that the inhibition of metastases by a primary mouse tumor is mediated, at least in part, by angiostatin.
"One mechanistic explanation for the inhibition of metastasis growth by tumour mass was provided more than 80 years later. It was demonstrated that, in the experimental models of cancer used, the primary tumours produce and release angiostatin, a n a n t i -a n g i o g e n i c f a c t o r s u f f i c i e n t t o i n d u c e micrometastasis dormancy (O'Reilly et al. 1994; Holmgren et al. 1995; Guba et al. 2001). The observed effect is a systemic prophylactic process. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite important human and financial resources and considerable accumulation of scientific publications, patents, and clinical trials, cancer research has been slow in achieving a therapeutic revolution similar to the one that occurred in the last century for infectious diseases. It has been proposed that science proceeds not only by accumulating data but also through paradigm shifts. Here, we propose to use the concept of 'paradigm shift' as a method of investigation when dominant paradigms fail to achieve their promises. The first step in using the 'paradigm shift' method in cancer research requires identifying its founding paradigms. In this review, two of these founding paradigms will be discussed: (i) the reification of cancer as a tumour mass and (ii) the translation of the concepts issued from infectious disease in cancer research. We show how these founding paradigms can generate biases that lead to over-diagnosis and over-treatment and also hamper the development of curative cancer therapies. We apply the 'paradigm shift' method to produce perspective reversals consistent with current experimental evidence. The 'paradigm shift' method enlightens the existence of a tumour physiologic-prophylactic-pathologic continuum. It integrates the target/antitarget concept and that cancer is also an extracellular disease. The 'paradigm shift' method has immediate implications for cancer prevention and therapy. It could be a general method of investigation for other diseases awaiting therapy.
Journal of Biosciences 09/2015; 40(3):657-666. DOI:10.1007/s12038-015-9543-3 · 2.06 Impact Factor
"Levels of wound healing associated growth factors like Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor show great heterogeneity between patients and also between peripheral blood and locally at the wound site . Studies also show that levels of angiogenesis inhibitors might change following surgery or radiation therapy of the primary tumor [50, 51]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A significant variation in the metastatic pattern among breast cancer patients exists. Clinical observations suggest that these differences are related to time to recurrence (TTR), thus suggesting a common systemic growth signal at the time of surgery. Our goal was to identify a marker for synchronized growth of micrometastases. To quantify the metastatic pattern at first relapse, 180 patients with metastatic breast cancer were studied. Standard deviation (SD) of lesions size and lesion number was calculated and served as a marker for variation. Patients with low SD (multiple/similar sized lesions) were assumed to have synchronized growth, whereas patients with high SD were assumed to have unsynchronized growth. Patients were grouped according to TTR; early (< 3 years-) or late (> 3 years- after surgery). In patients not receiving systemic adjuvant treatment, median SD was significantly lower in the early group (2.5 mm) compared with 6.4 mm in the late group (p = 0.005). In node negative patients, median SD was significantly lower in the early group (3.0 mm) when compared with the late group (5.7 mm, p = 0.02). An additional drop in SD was observed immediately after end of adjuvant endocrine therapy. Our results identify SD as a marker of synchronized metastatic growth in breast cancer. A metastatic phenotype characterized by multiple similar sized metastases, suggesting synchronized onset of growth of micrometastases was predominantly found in patients recurring early after surgery and was counteracted by adjuvant treatment. Systemic growth signals caused by surgery might be antagonized during the time window following surgery.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 07/2014; 146(3). DOI:10.1007/s10549-014-3057-9 · 3.94 Impact Factor
"In a ras oncogene driven tumor progression model, tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) mediate IL-8-induced angiogenesis (56, 57). The fact that angiostatin, an angiogenesis inhibitor identified in vivo (58), effectively targets monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils (55, 59–64) clearly suggests that these cells play a key role in this process. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that the tumor microenvironment (TUMIC) plays a major role in cancer and is indispensable for tumor progression. The TUMIC involves many "players" going well beyond the malignant-transformed cells, including stromal, immune, and endothelial cells (ECs). The non-malignant cells can acquire tumor-promoting functions during carcinogenesis. In particular, these cells can "orchestrate" the "symphony" of the angiogenic switch, permitting the creation of new blood vessels that allows rapid expansion and progression toward malignancy. Considerable attention within the context of tumor angiogenesis should focus not only on the ECs, representing a fundamental unit, but also on immune cells and on the inflammatory tumor infiltrate. Immune cells infiltrating tumors typically show a tumor-induced polarization associated with attenuation of anti-tumor functions and generation of pro-tumor activities, among these angiogenesis. Here, we propose a scenario suggesting that the angiogenic switch is an immune switch arising from the pro-angiogenic polarization of immune cells. This view links immunity, inflammation, and angiogenesis to tumor progression. Here, we review the data in the literature and seek to identify the "conductors" of this "orchestra." We also suggest that interrupting the immune → inflammation → angiogenesis → tumor progression process can delay or prevent tumor insurgence and malignant disease.
Frontiers in Oncology 07/2014; 4:131. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00131
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