Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New blood vessels in CLL

We are too readily seduced by what is going on in the blood in CLL. The real deal is what is happening in the lymph nodes. Like in other cancers, a major factor in the progression of the disease is the formation of new blood vessels. In last week's Blood a paper from Italy explores the relationship between blood levels of Angiopoietin-2 and prognosis. Angiopoietin-2 is a glycoprotein which destabilizes blood vessels causing them to revert to a more plastic state and making them more succeptible to the effect of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It is secreted by CLL cells, especially those that are CD38 positive. unsurprisingly, this paper finds that high levels of Angiopoietin-2 correlate with a poor prognosis.

My friend and colleague, Steve Devereux, suggested to me a couple of years ago that CLL might benefit from treatment with Avastin. Alas, he couldn't raise a grant to study the question, but this is further evidence that he may have been right.


Anonymous said...

The lack of money from pharmaceuticals is frequently the rub.

Dr. Kipps has mentioned several times that he just can't get companies interested in promising ideas.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you Dr. Hamblin rearding CLL. Is there a link between a drug from the family of oxycotin (oxycodone, opioid analgesic) and cll?

It is known that one of the side effects of the drug is lymphadenopathy.

Thank you for answering. liliane from Montreal.

Terry Hamblin said...

I am sure not.