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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2006 Sep;13(3):667-87.

Sex-steroid regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor in breast cancer.

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  • 1Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, 134 Research Park Drive, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


Angiogenesis is a key event, which occurs in both normal and pathological expansion of tissues and provides the nourishment necessary for growth. The role of angiogenic growth factors in breast pathology is rapidly gaining recognition since scientists and clinicians realized that these factors could function as molecular targets event 550 209822 for controlling tumor expansion. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of angiogenesis. Although significant advances have been made in understanding the sex-steroid-dependent regulation of this key factor, the role of VEGF in controlling breast tumors is not well understood. In this review, I discuss recent studies describing the role of the female sex steroids estrogens and progestins in the regulation of VEGF in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, I present a summary of recent studies from other biological systems (mainly focused on tumor biology) directed towards providing us with a better understanding of the regulation of classical VEGF and VEGF receptors. I propose that by extending such studies we will gain deeper insights into how we might combat the progression of breast cancer by controlling hormone-dependent angiogenesis within tumor tissue. I believe that information gained from such studies will permit us to target angiogenic growth factors and their initiated signal transduction pathways in a more precise and selective manner, and thereby to control the formation of new blood vessels that fuel the rapid growth of breast tumors. Finally, it is my hope that the concepts discussed here will help elucidate molecular targets in the hormone-dependent angiogenesis pathway that will ultimately allow us to overcome anti-hormone resistance and to provide insights into how we might pursue the concept of chemoprevention by considering 'angioprevention' as the end point.

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