New research has identified a molecule that is involved in both cardiovascular disease and cancer metastasis. For cancer to become malignant, cells in tumors undergo various transformations that involve interactions between the tumor and an individual’s immune system.
While most of the details involved in this process are unclear, evidence has shown that endothelial cell inflammation plays a key role in a tumor’s progression to metastasis. Endothelial cells usually form a layer lining the blood vessels in the body, helping regulate exchanges between the bloodstream and surrounding tissue.
The study objective of the researchers at Hokkaido University was to look into the molecular mechanisms behind endothelial cell inflammation and how they were relevant to cancer malignancy. The research, which was led by Professor Kyoko Hida, discovered that endothelial cells accumulate low-density lipoprotein in malignant tumors and attract neutrophils, which are immune cells that contribute to the progression of tumors. Low-density lipoproteins are molecules which deliver lipids.
Prior studies by the same researchers had found that blood vessels in malignant tumors expressed high proteoglycan levels, noting that cancerous tissue was also inflamed. This, the researchers noted, was similar to what had been observed in atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis occurs when there’s a buildup of cholesterol, fats and other substances on and in the artery walls. This buildup causes arteries to narrow and blocks the flow of blood. In this study, the researchers demonstrated that metastasizing tumors accumulated proteoglycans that in turn bound to and accumulated low-density lipoproteins to blood vessel walls.
The researchers explained that the bound low-density lipoproteins became oxidized, noting that they also observed high LOX-1 receptor levels in the lining of metastasizing tumors, which they believe caused the cells to attract neutrophils Using mice models, the researchers proved that LOX-1 suppression could substantially decrease tumor malignancy, noting that the overexpression of this particular receptor led to a rise in signaling molecules which in turn attracted more neutrophils.
In their report, the researchers theorized that the interactions observed in malignant tumors also occurred in atherosclerosis. Hida noted that while cancer and atherosclerosis were different illnesses, they shared common pathophysiological features in blood vessels.
This study, whose findings were reported in the “International Journal of Cancer,” also suggests a new approach for the prevention and treatment of both malignant cancer and cardiovascular disease by targeting the recruitment of neutrophils to endothelial cells. The researchers believe that using this treatment approach for both indications may produce positive results.
Many more entities, including QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM), are engaged in cancer research, and the future looks bright because more effective treatments are being developed based on the new discoveries about how tumors form and spread.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/QSAM
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