University Of Pennsylvania A study from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine claims that the inner areas of tumors seem to encompass low-oxygen content. It is also said to often have inflammatory cells known as macrophages, which study authors believe that it encourages tumor development.

Tumor cells in this low-oxygen region seem to vigorously enlist macrophages. Obstructing their enrollment appears to decrease tumor development and aggressiveness in mouse models. The outcomes apparently propose new targets for cancer drug development.

Celeste Simon, PhD, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, commented, “We know that hypoxia affects many aspects of tumor progression, but this is another novel way that it clearly does, by recruiting inflammatory cells. It is clear that macrophages accumulate in hypoxic, or low oxygen, regions of patient tumor samples. And it has been inferred that the factors that respond to low oxygen would actually have a positive effect on tumor growth.”

The team supposedly removed a hypoxia inducible gene from macrophage cells in mice and then evaluated what occurred in colon and liver cancer models. The macrophages that did not seem to have the hypoxia inducible factor did not build up in tumors in both cancer models. Owing to this, the tumors in the genetically deficient mice were claimed to be smaller, encompassed lesser blood vessels and did not advance to an elevated stage of disease.

The study authors discovered that the hypoxic tumor cells seemingly discharge chemicals that usually attach to receptors on the surface of macrophages. Devoid of the hypoxia inducible gene, the macrophages appears to express less of the receptor and so did not react to the tumor development signals.

With that type of information in hand, Simon deduces that the team has supposedly unearthed a probable new drug target for cancer therapy.

The study was presented at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting.