New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) indicates that a protein which has been at the forefront of cancer drug research over the last two decades continues to be important in the overall scenario.
Recently, the latest version of the drugs made from the protein called αvβ3-integrin antagonists failed to meet targets in treating aggressive forms of brain cancer. However, the current study says that it is too early to give up on the protein as other drugs cause unpleasant side-effects such as bleeding from the gut and high blood pressure.
"This research helps to explain why these very promising drugs aren't meeting with the success that was anticipated and it suggests a way forward - how to make them work better," said Dr Stephen Robinson, from UEA's school of Biological Sciences. "We have identified some molecular changes in endothelial cells that occur with long-term inhibition of beta3-integrin that might help the cells escape the beta3-integrin blockade. Our research also shows that timing is critical when targeting the protein beta3-integrin."
The study details appear in the journal Circulation Research.