Narrator: This is Science Today. Cancer researchers have been working with an antibody that blocks a protein called vascular endothelial cell growth factor, or VEGF, in an effort to shrink tumors and slow disease progression. Dr. Emily Bergsland of the University of California, San Francisco, says this is called anti-angiogenesis therapy, because it inhibits new blood vessel growth.
Bergsland: And the appeal of this is that this is a therapy that can potentially be fairly, generally applicable because it's thought that many tumor types, if not all tumor types require the recruitment of blood vessels in order to grow and metastasize. So these agents could potentially be broadly applicable across tumor types.
Narrator: Bergsland and her colleagues have recently used anti-VEGF specifically with metastatic colon cancer patients and have found encouraging results.
Bergsland: What's exciting about this study is it lends support to the whole concept that angiogensis is important to tumor growth and metastasis and this has been suspected for a long time. But this was the first study that showed in a randomized fashion that an agent specifically developed to block this angiogenic factor, called VEGF, can be efficacious.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.