San Diego State University researcher Roger Sabbadini has brought scientists one step closer to finding a cure for cancer with the creation of an antibody that hinders the growth of tumors by preventing blood vessel formation.
As published in the March 14 issue of Cancer Cell Sabbadini and his research team have created an antibody, Sphingomab™ that can be used as a drug to reduce the size of tumors in experimental animal models of human cancer.
The antibody works as a molecular sponge by soaking up sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a molecule that has been proven to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels.
S1P has been identified as a mediator of tumor cell proliferation and protector of tumor cells from chemotherapy drugs.
By neutralizing S1P, the Sphingomab antibody inhibits the new blood vessel formation that tumors require to thrive, a process called 'tumor angiogenesis'.
The group's research tested the antibody in mice tissue implanted with drug-resistant human breast, ovarian and lung cancer cell lines, as well as a mouse skin cancer cell line.
In ovarian cancer models, two of five subjects displayed no tumors, and three subjects had tumors with 68 percent less volume than those in the control group. Tumors were reduced by about 60 percent in volume in lung and breast cancer models.
"This groundbreaking research provides new hope for therapeutic treatments for forms of cancer that are resistant to current therapeutics," Sabbadini said.
"The Sphingomab antibody is especially powerful as it is shown to prevent tumors from a variety of cancers, as opposed to being effective against only one type of cancer."
"It has become a dream of mine to be a part of great anti-cancer research, as my mother is a cancer survivor," said Bradley Sibbald, a master's degree candidate in SDSU's molecular biology program and a co-author of the study.
"With the creation of this antibody, I now have a new investigative tool to help cure cancers with liquid tumors, which is the focus of my current research."