Oklahoma Researchers Investigate Method To Slow Cancer Growth - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Researchers Investigate Method To Slow Cancer Growth

Posted: Updated:
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Dr. Hong Chen. Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Dr. Hong Chen.

A new discovery from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation shows that creating more blood vessels can actually stunt the growth of some cancerous tumors.

Tumors, like flowers, need a variety of nutrients to grow. Where plants use roots to draw water and minerals from the soil, cancers use blood vessels to deliver the nourishment needed to expand.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 300,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and nearly 40,000 will die from it. If the growth of breast tumors can be slowed, however, it could allow more time for life-saving treatments, said OMRF scientist Hong Chen, Ph.D.

"Obviously, we don't want cancers growing large, so we are trying to better understand the mechanics of angiogenesis—the creation of blood vessels—which led us to experiment with epsins," she said.

Epsins are proteins that regulate the formation of blood vessels. When Chen's lab removed epsins from the system, they expected to see unrestricted blood vessel growth and large, aggressive tumors. Instead they found the opposite.

"In the absence of epsins, several blood vessels were made, but the tumors were smaller," said OMRF researcher Satish Pasula, Ph.D. "When we looked closer, we noticed that the blood vessels didn't function properly."

Without fully functional blood vessels, the cancers either didn't form or stayed small and stunted.

In the next step of the research, Chen's lab will examine how suppressing or removing epsins affects pre-existing tumors. Researchers say if the creation of non-functioning blood vessels slows the growth of tumors, it might stop a pre-existing tumor from growing further and allow it to be surgically removed.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.


See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.


Use our free classifieds to find the things you need or sell your items.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.