Ann Conkle
Mar 9, 2012

Brain cancer blood vessels not substantially tumor-derived

Johns Hopkins scientists have published laboratory data refuting studies that suggest blood vessels that form within brain cancers are largely made up of cancer cells. The theory of cancer-based blood vessels calls into question the use and value of anticancer drugs that target these blood vessels, including bevacizumab (Avastin). "We don't question whether brain cancer cells have the potential to express blood vessel markers and may occasionally find their way into blood vessels, but we do question the extent to which this happens," says Charles Eberhart, M.D., Ph.D., chief of neuropathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "In general, we find no evidence in our study that these vessels contain substantial amounts of cancer cells."