PROF DOROTHY BENNETT
DIRECTOR OF THE MOLECULAR AND CLINICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE, ST GEORGE’S, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
“This report combines several clever molecular design aspects to impair cancer growth in animal models. The ideas include: recognising the cancer blood vessels rather than actual cancer cells, since the vessels are what a circulating molecule would meet first, rather than having to get outside the bloodstream and find the cancer cells there; and also this is not limited to a single cancer type; and triggering blood clotting to cut off the cancer’s blood supply.
“This could potentially have a therapeutic effect in adults with cancer, where generally there will not be any newly forming blood vessels except within the growing cancer. It would not presumably be specific enough if there were any other growing blood vessels present, for example in growing infants or in people with healing wounds.
“It should be noted that the report involves only cells and mouse models, and only in one kind of cancer out of four were some animals apparently completely cured. In the others the cancer growth was only delayed. It is hard to predict what might happen in human cancers.”