Scientists report on how cell signaling in the stroma plays a role in the progression of cervical cancer. Using a mouse model of cervical cancer, the researchers looked at a protein that is made by the tumor cells known as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF).
They found that blocking PDGF signaling in cancer-associated fibroblasts and pericytes reduced the progression of new precancerous legions and halted the growth of already existing ones. The team also found that restoring signaling of PDGF causes a resumption of tumor growth
Further investigation showed that blocking PDGF prevents the expression of angiogenic factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) and the epithelial cell growth factor FGF-7 by cancer-associated fibroblasts.
The study was conducted by investigators at the University of California, San Francisco and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. The study was published on January 29 in PLoS Medicine.