Recent update on Modiano’s research underway into the treatment and prevention of hemangiosarcoma.
We have made substantial progress. Our results confirm and extend the notions that interactions between the tumor and its local environment regulate hemangiosarcoma progression. Yet, variability in cells within tumors can reduce the predictability of hemangiosarcoma behavior, and possibly contribute to therapy resistance. For example, hemangiosarcomas respond to the degradation of their supporting matrix by recruiting inflammatory cells and blood vessels. But the magnitude of this effect is variable among different hemangiosarcomas, which requires us to consider that these tumors might adapt efficiently to very different microenvironments.
The hemangiosarcoma microenvironment also tends to be rich in a molecule called CXCL12, which is used as a means of communication between the tumor cells and the normal supporting cells. Only some of the tumor cells have the receptors that transmit the signals from CXCL12. These cells help to support the tumor, and also can be efficient mediators of metastasis. But in their absence, other mechanisms might perform these functions. This suggests that blocking this pathway and others like it could have a positive therapeutic effect, but managing this disease will require combining strategies that lower the c pacity of cells to simply switch their behavior to use alternate pathways to survive and thrive.