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Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Vascular Target Discovery in Breast Cancer-Associated Angiogenesis

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Final rept. 18 Aug 2003-17 Aug 2005

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Cancer growth and spread is dependent on new blood vessel formation, i.e. angiogenesis. A tumor mass cannot develop into a life-threatening condition without angiogenesis. Obstructing the recruitment of new blood vessels to the tumor through administration of antiangiogenic agents will hinder cancer progression. We propose the use of marrow stromal cells MSCs for an investigative gene discovery program to identify new genes involved in blood vessel formation. MSCs, a normal cell type from the bone marrow, can spontaneously turn into blood vessels MSC-mediated vasculogenesis in experimental animals. Therefore, we propose that MSCs recapitulate the ontogeny of blood vessel formation and serve to identify novel angiogenesis promoters and potential new pharmacological targets. To test this hypothesis, we will utilize a cell biology and molecular genetic experimental approach. Products thus identified as involved in MSC-mediated vasculogenesis may become new cancer antiangiogenesis targets for either a classic pharmacological approach or for cell and gene therapy therapeutic strategies. The utilization of antiangiogenic agents for cancer treatment holds certain advantages over chemotherapeutic drugs, such as the destruction uniquely of tumor-associated normal blood vessels and not of other normal tissue such as bone marrow. Also, unlike chemotherapy, drug resistance is not an issue with antiangiogenic compounds.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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