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An antimetastatic agent that appears to be free of adverse effects may be available to clinicians soon, according to Kenneth V. Honn, PhD, associate professor of radiology and radiation oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit.
Honn told participants at a recent American Cancer Society seminar in San Diego that research into the effects of anticoagulants on migrant cancer cells has produced an agent, nafazatrom, that looks promising in phase I (safety) clinical trials.
As Honn sees it, the critical event in metastasis is the stable attachment of a cancer cell to a blood vessel wall. He postulates that the tumor cell accomplishes this by first binding to host platelets, and then, coated with platelets, lodging in the microvasculature and adhering to the vascular endothelium. A protective thrombus may subsequently develop around the tumor cell, shielding it until it escapes into surrounding tissues, where it can proliferate.
Merz B. Efficacy tests ahead for antimetastatic agent. JAMA. 1983;249(19):2605. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330430005002
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