Biomarker May Predict Cancers Grow With Anemia Drug

Anil K. Sood, M.D

Dr. Anil Sood Interview with:
Anil K. Sood, M.D.
Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Sood: Erythropoietin is an important drug for managing anemia, but concerns have surfaced that it might promote cancer growth. The data with the conventional epo-receptor were not convincing with regard to an explanation for why tumor growth might increase. Therefore, we considered whether there could be an alternative receptor to explain these findings. We carried out a systematic search and identified EphB4 as the alternative receptor that explained the increased tumor growth in response to epo.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sood: This study provides a new understanding of the biology of epo with regard to effects on tumor. Additional studies are needed, but it is possible that EphB4 could serve as a biomarker to stratify patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sood: There are many additional steps including validation of these findings in clinical settings; developing approaches to block the deleterious effects of epo (e.g., blocking EphB4).


Anil Sood, M.D. et al. Erythropoietin Stimulates Tumor Growth via EphB4. Cancer Cell, October 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2015.09.008

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Anil K. Sood, M.D. (2015). Biomarker May Predict Cancers Grow With Anemia Drug

Last Updated on October 16, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD