Potential therapeutic target across a range of cancer types found

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London, Oct 21 (ANI): Researchers have found a common link among several malignant tumor types in all grades of cancer.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in collaboration with investigators of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) of France led by Nicolae Ghinea, conducted the study.

This breakthrough may ultimately provide a new diagnostic or therapeutic target to detect cancer early or stop tumor growth.

The team discovered that a hormone receptor typically found in human reproductive organs is also found in blood vessel cells in a wide range of tumor types. The receptors are not present on the blood vessels of any normal tissues with the exception of reproductive organs, where they are present in much lower concentrations than in tumors.

"This new tumor marker may be used to improve cancer detection. Tumor imaging agents that bind to the new marker could be injected in the vasculature and would make visible early tumors located anywhere in the body using magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, or ultrasound imaging," the study's lead author, Aurelian Radu, Assistant Professor of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said.

"New therapeutic agents can be developed that will block the tumor blood supply, either by inhibiting formation of new blood vessels, blocking the blood flow by coagulation, or by destroying the existing tumor vessels," Radu said.

Scientists evaluated tissue samples from the tumors of 1,336 people in 11 common cancer types, including prostate, breast, colon, pancreatic, lung, liver, and ovarian.

They used as detection reagents antibodies that act as homing devices to the hormone receptor, called the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) receptor. The research team found that the antibodies located the FSH receptor on the cells that form the blood vessel walls in the periphery of tumors, extending both internally and externally in the immediate vicinity of the tumor.

The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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