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Cancer Res. 2000 Aug 15;60(16):4324-7.

Absence of functional lymphatics within a murine sarcoma: a molecular and functional evaluation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


Despite a clinically recognized association between the lymphatics and metastasis, the biology of tumor-lymphatic interaction is not clearly understood. We report here that functional lymphatic capillaries are absent from the interior of a solid tumor, despite the presence within the tumor of the lymphangiogenic molecule vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and endothelial cells bearing its receptor, VEGF receptor 3. Functional lymphatics, enlarged and VEGF receptor 3 positive, were detected in some tumors only at the tumor periphery (within 100 microm of the interface with normal tissue). We conclude that although lymphangiogenic factors are present, formation of functional lymphatic vessels is prevented, possibly due to collapse by the solid stress exerted by growing cancer cells.

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