Dead cells don't form tumors: HIF-dependent cytotoxins.
Sutphin PD., Chan DA., Giaccia AJ.
Elimination or reduction of tumor burden is the primary goal of cancer therapy. Strategies to achieve this goal with the fewest adverse effects to the patient are an area of intense investigation. Elevated protein levels of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) are commonly found in solid tumors, while rarely found in healthy tissue. Numerous studies have suggested that HIF activity is essential for the development of solid tumors. Thus, inhibition of HIF represents an attractive therapeutic target for eradicating tumors. The search for small molecules that target and inhibit HIF activity is currently underway. We propose an alternate approach: to directly target and kill HIF-activated tumor cells. This approach is advantageous in that cells with activated HIF will be eliminated directly. Specific elimination of HIF-activated cells represents a potential mechanism for inhibiting tumor growth, with the potential advantage of sparing the patient of the normal tissue toxicity associated with current treatment options.