Peptides are compounds made up of amino acids (constituent of proteins). Peptides are emerging as an important treatment strategy especially anti-angiogenic properties are found to be helpful in diseases which are angiogenesis dependent such as cancer. Angiogenesis refers to the formation of blood vessels.
Source of peptides:
Peptides are derived from several proteins such as chemokines, growth factors, collagens and other classes of proteins as well as target different receptors.
Application of peptides:
Peptides are highly specific and have low toxicity and therefore are found to be helpful for angiogenesis dependent diseases. Spread of cancer (metastasis) is most importantly caused by formation of new small vessels (angiogenesis).
Peptides can be used in cancer therapy in a number of ways such as:
1. Immunostimulators (vaccines)
2. Tumor markers: Different type of tumors of endocrine system such as pancreas, adrenal glands and thyroid glands can be easily determined by peptides (Octreotide is used which is somatostatin analog peptide).
3. Vehicles for anticancer drugs or agents and targeting moieties. Cell penetrating peptides are found to be the outstanding agent transfer of various therapeutic biomolecules.
When peptides are labeled with β-emitting radioisotopes, these are helpful for endoradiotherapy. Endoradiotherapy means targeted therapy with the help of radioactive nuclide.
References and Further Reading:
Carmen, W. et. al. (2007). Radiolabeled Peptides and Proteins in Cancer Therapy. Protein and Peptide Letters, 14(3), 273-279.
Huang, S. et. al. (2007). Cell penetrating peptides in cancer therapy. Progress in Physiology, 38(4), 301-306.
Khandare, J. J. et. al. (2006). Antibodies and Peptides in Cancer Therapy. Critical Reviews in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems, 23(5), 401–435.
Rosca, E. V. et. al. (2011). Anti-angiogenic peptides for cancer therapeutics. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 12(8), 1101-1116.