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Seattle Genetics enters ADC collaboration agreement with Pfizer

March 17, 2016

The researchers studied three different types of tumors in mice to show that tumors that produce HRG grow more slowly and do not spread into subsidiary tumors. The inhibiting effect takes place when HRG downregulates the placenta growth factor (PlGF). This prompts M2 macrophages to transform into M1 macrophages. The M1 macrophages start an immune defense against the tumor and thereby reduce its mass. What's more, these M1 macrophages lack any capacity to stimulate blood vessels. Tumor blood vessels are often over-stimulated and function poorly, which makes it easier for tumor cells to get access to the blood circulation and to spread to other organs in the body. Normalization of blood vessels in the presence of M1 macrophages makes it more difficult for tumor cells to get through vascular walls to metastasize. Finally, the authors show that the amount of HRG is dramatically reduced in a great number of cancer types in humans, which may mean that HRG has a natural inhibitory function in the development of cancer.

-The next step will be to find the binding sites for HRG on macrophages, so they can be used in developing drugs. We are also looking into how HRG levels in the blood change in cancer, in collaboration with surgeons at Uppsala University Hospital, says Lena Claesson-Welsh.

Source: Uppsala University