Fighting cancer? Starve blood vessels
As of today, aging and its associated progressive loss of physical integrity remains the prime risk factor in cancer development. As refined parasites, developing tumors hijack the vascular system of their hosts in order to promote their own growth.
Prof. Peter Carmeliet aims to explore this from a rather novel angle. Indeed, a large number of cancer therapies inhibit the creation of new blood vessels caused by chemicals released from tumors; however, these strategies are reaching their limits. In particular, they present serious side effects, such as toxicity and resistance incurred by patients. Carmeliet suggests reversing the process: what if, instead of starving tumors by blocking their blood stock, we starved the blood vessels themselves by cutting off their power supply?