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Angiogenesis in life, disease and medicine


The growth of blood vessels (a process known as angiogenesis) is essential for organ growth and repair. An imbalance in this process contributes to numerous malignant, inflammatory, ischaemic, infectious and immune disorders. Recently, the first anti-angiogenic agents have been approved for the treatment of cancer and blindness. Angiogenesis research will probably change the face of medicine in the next decades, with more than 500 million people worldwide predicted to benefit from pro- or anti-angiogenesis treatments.

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Figure 1: History and formation of blood and lymph vessels.

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The author regrets that, owing to space limitations, he has been unable to refer to all of the primary literature and had to rely instead, in many instances, on reviews. P.C. is supported by grants from FWO, the European Union and the Concerted Research Activities of Belgium.

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The authors declare competing financial interests: Peter Carmeliet declares to be an inventor on intellectual property rights related to some anti-angiogenic agents of the VEGF family.

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Carmeliet, P. Angiogenesis in life, disease and medicine. Nature 438, 932–936 (2005).

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