Breast cancer is considered the second leading cause of cancer deaths, mainly due its metastasis (spread). Recently Scientists have found that the ability of breast cancer to metastasize can now be impaired by a reduction in the expression of PHD2 oxygen sensor.
Scientists at the VIB and KULeuven have found out that the reduction in the expression of PHDs oxygen sensors impairs the metastatic ability of breast cancers. This suggests that PHD2 inhibition may have an important role in therapeutics. This study was published in a renowned medical journal “Cell Reports” which usually highlight innovative biological research.
This study has, for the first time, studied the effect of PHD2 expression blocking in a random breast cancer model that closely resembles human cancer. The study also discloses the unpredicted role of stromal fibroblast cells, the cells involved in supporting cancer tissue and promoting the spread of cancer.
PHD2 Inhibition Globally and Metastasis Reduction
A team of researchers led by Peter Carmeliet at VIB/KU Leuven have discovered that genetically blocking PHD2 results in a significant reduction in the metastasis of breast cancer which is a significant cause of death in breast cancer patients. Despite the advances in the breast cancer treatment, the need to develop an effective therapy for controlling the breast cancer metastasis is still unmet.
The research has also found out that blocking the PHD2 expression does not cause the growth of the tumor. Hence, it is a comparatively safer approach in therapeutics than the previous experiments.
Blocking the Escape Route for Cancer
The study suggests that by inhibiting the PHD2, cancer spread can be reduced via two important mechanisms that are:
- Normalization of the blood vessels supplying the tumor
- Deactivation of “cancer-activated fibroblasts.”
Within the tumor, the support fibroblast cells become highly active and form a network of support connective tissue which serves as “highways” for cancer cells traveling to distant organs.
The majority of anti-tumor therapies focus on attacking the cancer cells. Unfortunately, there is not even a single therapy that targets this fibroblast and controls the metastasis.
A researcher proposed that:
“We have discovered that inhibition of PHD2 oxygen sensors causes reduction in the spread of breast cancer in two ways: First, it facilitates the tumor blood vessels in returning their normal and stronger state, reducing the vessel wall escape of cancer cells. Second, it prevents cancer cells from hijacking the surround activated fibroblast cells and instructing them in building passages of support connective tissue, allowing the cancer cell migration to other parts of the body.” – Peter Carmeliet
The research present in the July 2015 issue of Cell Reports has opened doors for the further exploration of the role of PHD2 inhibition in the treatment of breast cancer in humans.
Royal Recognition of the Research
Dr. Carmeliet has been honored by Belgium’s royal monarch for his years of struggle and dedication towards solving the cancer mysteries and discovering the role of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) in this deadly disease.
Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.