Alcohol activates cellular changes th...

Alcohol activates cellular changes that make tumor cells spread

There are 1 comment on the Science Blog story from Oct 26, 2009, titled Alcohol activates cellular changes that make tumor cells spread. In it, Science Blog reports that:

Alcohol consumption has long been linked to cancer and its spread, but the underlying mechanism has never been clear.

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Since: Dec 05

Union, NJ

#1 Oct 27, 2009
Alcohol is related to carcinogenesis, but this is the first that it is related to metastasis. If there is anything at all to this, then discontinuing drinking at the time of cancer diagnosis should dramatically improve prognosis. Were it true, there would be a truly enormous amount of evidence for this, given that the incidence of drinking is greater than fifty percent of the population.

Alcohol can have a beneficial affect on cancer cells when mixed with anti-angiogenesis drugs. Avastin directly binds to VEGF to directly inhibit angiogenesis. Within 24 hours of VEGF inhibition, endothelial cells have been shown to shrivel, retract, fragment and die by apoptosis. Tumors which secrete relatively low levels of VEGF might be more susceptible to an agent like Avastin which works by blocking VEGF and inhibits the formation of new blood vessels.

Avastin, with alcohol (as an anti-angiogenic enhancer and potentiator), the abrogating effect of the alcohol upon VEGF reduces the secretion of VEGF by the tumor cells. It both reduces VEGF and makes Avastin work better, possibly overcoming tumor resistance to Avastin.

The alcohol has has a membrane effect, basically putting the cells to sleep so that it doesn't think it requires a blood supply. In the presence of Avastin, it has a lethal 1-2 combination which knocks out the new vessels which are dependent on VEGF for survival.

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