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Mechanisms of angiogenesis and their use in the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis

Abstract

There is a constant requirement for vascular supply in solid tumors. Tumor-associated neovascularization allows the tumor cells to express their critical growth advantage. Axillary lymph node status is the most important prognostic factor in operable breast cancer, and experimental and clinical evidence suggests that the process of metastasis is also angiogenesis-dependent. Various angiogenic growth factors and cytokines induce neovascularization in tumors, namely members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin (Ang) gene families. A strong correlation has been found between VEGF expression and increased tumor microvasculature, malignancy, and metastasis in breast cancer. Anti-angiogenic therapy approaches offer a new promising anti-cancer strategy and a remarkably diverse group of over 20 such drugs is currently undergoing evaluation in clinical trials.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Reija Valtola et al. for Figure 3, Karri Paavonen, Marika Kärkkäinen, Tanja Veikkola, Michael Jeltsch and Berndt Enholm for helpful advice in the preparation of the manuscript and several funding agencies for support. Only very few contributions could be cited; the authors apologize for that.

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Saaristo, A., Karpanen, T. & Alitalo, K. Mechanisms of angiogenesis and their use in the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. Oncogene 19, 6122–6129 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1203969

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Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • metastasis
  • lymphatic vessels
  • VEGF
  • VEGF-C

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