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With blood vessels, more is not necessarily better.


The compensatory growth of new blood vessels around the heart when a coronary artery becomes blocked is a good thing--indeed, it may be life-saving. But new blood vessel growth can also be a disaster, as in the case of many forms of cancer in which new blood vessels are formed that nourish the tumor, or some diseases of the eye in which new vessels destroy or impair delicate structures and cause impaired vision.

Science magazine recently reported of a genetically engineered substances, PF4, that seems to inhibit the growth of blood vessels and may thus be useful in treating diseases such as these. And because its chemical structure is identical to a naturally occurring body substance, it is anticipated that side effects or rejection by the body's immune system are less likely.
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Title Annotation:use of PF4 to inhibit growth
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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