Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Charmaine Alexander-Parris

George W. Wingate High School, Brooklyn



How can we target tumor angiogenesis?


Learning Context (objectives):

At the end of this lesson students should be able to do the following:

- Identify and define key terms

- Review the process of angiogenesis [9-12 Content Standard C- The cell]

- Describe characteristics of tumor

- Review how angiogenesis contributes to tumor growth

- Explain the process by which chemotherapeutic drugs/cytotoxic drugs target tumor angiogenesis [9-12 Content Standard E- Understandings about science and technology]


Have students fill out a K.W.L. chart containing at least three items for each category*  note- student should only fill out K and W section as part of the motivation, the L section should be filled upon conclusion of the lesson (what I Know, what I Want to know, and what I Learned).

*Example of KWL chart:

[9-12 Content Standard A- Questions/concepts that guide inquiry]


What I Know


What I Want to know


What I Learned












Pivotal Question:

1- When you hear the word "angiogenesis" what are some of the words that come to your mind?  (As reactions are elicited, have a volunteer use student's response to fill in the web below)

2- How is cancer related to angiogenesis?

Length of Lesson: 3-4 days


Define key terms

Angiogenesis, tumor, cytotoxic, efficacy, endothelial cells, metastatic, antiangiogenesis inhibitors subcutaneous chemotherapy, DNA replication. [9-12 Content Standard C- The molecular basis of heredity]

Review process of Angiogenesis:

Angiogenesis is a naturally occurring process that can contribute to disease.  The following is an illustration of how this process works: Capillaries are  made of endothelial cells.  During the process of angiogenesis, endothelial cells become stimulated, and some leave the capillary through larger pores.  These cells then divide and multiply forming a sprout on the capillary.

Characteristics of tumors

Tumors are an overgrowth of cells; tumors need a blood supply in order to grow.  Before developing a blood supply, tumors are usually undetectable and do not produce symptoms.

How Angiogenesis contributes to tumor growth

Angiogenesis creates the blood supply for the tumor.  With blood supply, tumors can grow rapidly.  New blood vessels make it possible for the cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body.

How cytotoxic drugs target tumor angiogenesis

1- Conventional Cytotoxic Scheduling - Damage and disrupt DNA replication in new cells.   This drug regimen has been designed to kill as many tumor cells as possible by treating with "maximum tolerated does" (MTDs) of these cytoxic agents followed by a substantial rest period. Figure A Illustrates this process.


2- Combinational attacks- Drugs in combination impair tumor growth and kill endothelial cells offering genuine efficacy.  See Figure B.

3- Meetronomic cytotoxic scheduling-low dose chemotherapy strategy involves dosing at regular intervals without rest periods (metronomic scheduling).  This has been found to stabilize or regress tumors with lower doses of cytotoxic agents to minimize side effects.  Figure B illustrates this process. [9-12 Content Standard F- Personal and community health]

Activity:   Case Study:  Ms. D is a 32 year old patient recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  She was admitted to the chemotherapy unit to receive treatment.  Your medical team is in charge of her case.

1- In groups of three students will choose one of the 3 cytotoxic strategies to provide chemotherapy for Ms. D.

2- In two or more paragraphs defend and explain your choice.

3- Use household materials or materials found around the school to construct a three dimensional colorful illustration of the cytotoxic strategy chosen.

4- Explain how you would use your illustration to present the pros and cons of your choice to Ms. D.

Summary:  Have students complete the L section of their KWL chart with at least 5 or more items that they learned from this lesson.  Students will be encouraged to report information learned to their groups for about 5-10 minutes.

Long Term Project:

Students will be given 2 weeks to complete project. [Teaching Standard D- Structure time for extended investigations] The research paper should contain all the element of a well-written research paper.  Abstract, introduction, methods, results, conclusion and references. Copies of research papers from previous student used as examples.  Topic to be researched will be to identify and explain different types of tumors (neuroblastoma, Wilms tumors etc.).  Each group of students must  choose one type of tumor.  There must be at least 3 illustrations that explain and examine how and where the chosen type of tumor is formed and how the process of angiogenesis plays a role in it's formation.  In addition, students should explain the role of the laboratory in the process. Students must describe/discuss any interviews they may have had with any laboratory worker or health care specialist concerning their chosen tumor.  Research paper should conclude with possible therapies as explained in lesson.   Lastly students will use their 3D group illustration to present along with their research paper. [Teaching Standard E- Structure/facilitate formal discussion]


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