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Growth of Prostate Cancer in Mice Blocked by New Antiangiogenic Agent and Radiation

Study Shows Significant Reduction in the Size of Tumors

New York City, NY (Oct. 16, 2005) — Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center have discovered that a combination of gene therapy and radiation inhibits the growth of prostate and lung cancer tumors in mice, increasing their lifespan, it was reported today at the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Denver, CO. The gene therapy involves a new protein, called Tek-Fc, which blocks angiogenesis, or the growth of blood vessels that are crucial for the continued growth of tumors.

"This anti-angiogenic gene therapy could eventually be an effective adjuvant to radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate and lung cancer in humans," said Madhur Garg, MD, lead author of the study and a senior physician scientist in Montefiore's Department of Radiation Oncology, the only institution in the US using this specific gene therapy model.

Dr. Garg and his colleagues at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine demonstrated that a combination of Tek-Fc protein therapy and radiation was effective in reducing the size and inhibiting the growth of prostate and lung tumors in mice significantly.