Researchers and scientists have been on a never-ending crusade to eradicate and eliminate the existence of hematologic and non-hematologic malignancies. According to Ms. Volz “While there have been successful steps and measures taken as far as the identification of new targets, no one has yet discovered a ‘silver bullet’. However, the number of patients suffering from these diseases is constantly increasing, thus illustrating the need for new effective anti-cancer strategies.” Contemporary technologies provide new ways to target these malignancies, in ways that were previously never considered. One such approach is via glycoprotein (GP) VI. GPVI is a platelet-specific activating receptor, regulating multiple platelet functions, including activation and procoagulant activity. GPVI has been proposed as a potentially safe anti-thrombotic target, as its blockade reduces arterial thrombosis without impairing hemostasis. In addition, it has been shown to contribute to the maintenance of vessel integrity under conditions of inflammation. However, its role in the regulation of tumor vessel integrity remains unknown. That’s what Ms. Julia Volz of Germany and colleagues sought to investigate further. They looked at the role of GPVI in the maintenance of vascular integrity in primary tumors, studying the potential impact of GPVI blockade on the efficacy of chemotherapy. As Ms. Volz described, “Tumor vascularization and growth were analyzed in wild-type and Gp6-/- mice. Furthermore, the treatment with the GPVI-blocking antibody JAQ1 F(ab´)2 alone or combined with chemotherapeutic drugs demonstrated a pronounced impact of GPVI blockade on tumor growth.”

The team was able to demonstrate that blockade of GPVI induced tumor hemorrhage and reduced tumor growth with similar kinetics and to a comparable extent as platelet depletion. Interestingly, the GPVI blockade in mice increased intra-tumoral accumulation of co-administered chemotherapeutic drugs, resulting in a profound and prolonged anti-tumor effect. “Our findings identify platelet GPVI as a key regulator of vascular integrity, especially in growing tumors, and could serve as a novel therapeutic target for the development of anti-tumor strategies.”

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