Cancer cells compress intratumour vessels

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Pressure from proliferating cells impedes transport of therapeutic drugs into tumours.


The delivery of therapeutic drugs to solid tumours may be impaired by structural and functional abnormalities in blood and lymphatic vessels1. Here we provide evidence that proliferating cancer cells cause intratumour vessels to compress and collapse. By reducing this compressive mechanical force and opening vessels, cytotoxic cancer treatments have the potential to increase blood perfusion, thereby improving drug delivery.

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Figure 1: Collapsed blood and lymphatic vessels open after relieving compressive forces generated by cancer cells in human tumours.


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Correspondence to Rakesh K. Jain.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Padera, T., Stoll, B., Tooredman, J. et al. Cancer cells compress intratumour vessels. Nature 427, 695 (2004) doi:10.1038/427695a

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