Common High Blood Pressure Drug Is Also an Anti-cancer Agent

August 16, 1996

High Blood Pressure an Anti-Cancer Agent
Contact: Elizabeth Crown
312-503-4942 (FX)


CHICAGO --- Captopril, a drug taken by over 5 million people to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, has recently been shown to act simultaneously as an anti-cancer agent able to slow the growth of tumors by depriving them of their essential blood supply.

These findings by Volpert et al. at Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University were published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. They raise the possibility that patients taking captopril for its hypotensive action may reap an unexpected dividend in the form of decreased incidence or severity of a variety of diseases, including cancer, that depend on growth of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis.

In an animal model, captopril slowed the growth of nest of precancerous cells in the liver as well as that of larger tumors under the skin. Although captopril had no direct effect on the tumor cells themselves, it nonetheless halted their growth in the animal model.

The drug appeared to act by slowing the growth of new blood vessels that are essential to the delivery of the ever-increasing amounts of nutrients and oxygen that growing tumors require. Without new blood vessels, small tumors remain the size of a pinhead and large tumors expand less rapidly.

The mechanism by which captopril inhibited new vessel growth appeared to be distinctly different from the mechanism by which it is thought to lower blood pressure and may depend on its ability to block the cells that form the new vessels from moving toward the tumor and to inhibit enzymes that clear a path along which sprouting blood vessels can grow.

It remains to be documented that the antitumor activity of captopril seen so clearly in the animal model also occurs in humans. If the effects are similar, captopril may be helpful in ameliorating the effects of other angiogenesis-dependent diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and arthritis.

Northwestern University

Related Blood Vessels Articles from Brightsurf:

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
In a new study published today in Nature Chemistry, Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol's School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

Specific and rapid expansion of blood vessels
Upon a heart infarct or stroke, rapid restoration of blood flow, and oxygen delivery to the hypo perfused regions is of eminent importance to prevent further damage to heart or brain.

Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels
Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels that can be actively tuned to address subtle changes in the body after implantation.

Lumpy proteins stiffen blood vessels of the brain
Deposits of a protein called ''Medin'', which manifest in virtually all older adults, reduce the elasticity of blood vessels during aging and hence may be a risk factor for vascular dementia.

Cancer cells take over blood vessels to spread
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University researchers observed a key step in how cancer cells may spread from a primary tumor to a distant site within the body, a process known as metastasis.

Novel function of platelets in tumor blood vessels found
Scientists at Uppsala University have discovered a hitherto unknown function of blood platelets in cancer.

Blood vessels can make you fat, and yet fit
IBS scientists have reported Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) as a key driver that inhibits the accumulation of potbellies by enabling the proper transport of fatty acid into general circulation in blood vessels, thus preventing insulin resistance.

Brothers in arms: The brain and its blood vessels
The brain and its surrounding blood vessels exist in a close relationship.

Feeling the pressure: How blood vessels sense their environment
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Thbs1 is a key extracellular mediator of mechanotransduction upon mechanical stress.

Human textiles to repair blood vessels
As the leading cause of mortality worldwide, cardiovascular diseases claim over 17 million lives each year, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Read More: Blood Vessels News and Blood Vessels Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to