Susan E. Crawford
PEDF is a protein with potent neurotrophic and antiangiogenic activity. Examination of PEDF expression patterns in neuroblastoma and Wilms’ tumor, two common malignancies occurring in the pediatric population, suggests that decreased PEDF expression contributes to tumor progression. In neuroblastomas, PEDF may participate in a paracrine feedback mechanism whereby PEDF secreted by infiltrating Schwann cells promotes tumor cell differentiation and endothelial cell apoptosis. Wilms’ tumor arises within the kidney, and loss of endogenous PEDF from normal renal tubular epithelial cells may promote a tumor-permissive environment. Treatment with recombinant human PEDF proved to be effective in xenograft models when the growth of both neuroblastomas and Wilms’ tumors was suppressed with no overt signs of toxicity.