This study found a similarity between cancer and atherosclerosis

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This study found a similarity between cancer and atherosclerosis

Cancer is a disease where abnormal cells multiply out of control. Tumors form when there is a concentration of mutations in the genome of a cell. tumor cells interact with the immune system in order to undergo the transformations necessary for the formation of metastases. This is how tumors become malignant.


A young woman with cancer

The mechanisms surrounding this process are still blurry. This is why this condition remains difficult to prevent and treat. Inflammation of cells “endothelial” is a crucial process in the progression of tumors to metastasis.

But recently, researchers have identified a key molecule for cancerous metastases, also involved in cardiovascular illnesses.

Commonalities between cancer and atherosclerosis

A team led by Professor Kyoko Hida from Hokkaido University has studied the molecular mechanism responsible for this process in the case of a malignant tumor. The study revealed that endothelial cells have stored a lipid transport molecule called “low density lipoprotein” (LDL). They also attracted “neutrophils”, which are immunosuppressive cells, participating in the growth of tumours.

The researchers demonstrated that metastasized tumors have accumulated proteoglycan molecules. These molecules attached and amassed LDL on the walls of blood vessels. The bound LDLs then oxidized. The endothelial cells showed an elevated level of LOX-1, which is the receptor for oxidized LDL. These cells would produce inflammation signals attracting neutrophils.

An experiment with mice proved that deletion of LOX-1 significantly reduced tumor severity. Conversely, overexpression of LOX-1 caused signaling molecules to attract neutrophils to grow. These interactions observed in malignant tumors seem to occur in atherosclerosis, hardening of blood vessels.

“Atherosclerosis and cancer appear to be completely different diseases, but they share several common pathophysiological features in blood vessels. »

Kyoko Hida

A promising approach to treat both diseases

This study was published in theInternational Journal of Cancer. It is the first to clearly demonstrate the resemblance between heart disease and cancer. It has also provided insight into the process leading to LDL accumulation and LOX-1 expression in tumor tissues throughout the body.

This research should lead to an approach to treat and prevent both cancer and cardiovascular disease. According to the team, target neutrophil recruitment in endothelial cells would make this possible.

“The number of cancer patients who die not from cancer, but from cardiovascular events, is increasing. Targeting the LOX-1/oxidized LDL axis could be a promising strategy for the concurrent treatment of these two diseases. »

Kyoko Hida

SOURCE: MIRA NEWS

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