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Curr Oncol Rep. 1999 Sep;1(1):59-63.

Vascular endothelial growth factor in ovarian cancer.

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Fox Chase Cancer Center, Ovarian Cancer Program, West 345, 7701 Burholme Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


Tumor growth requires nutrients and oxygen. Both nutrients and oxygen are provided via the vasculature. Thus, when a tumor increases in volume, new blood vessels must form and invade the expanding tumor. This process, called angiogenesis, has theoretical significance in the context of ovarian cancer for two reasons. First, the process of angiogenesis and vessel regression occurs in a tightly controlled way as part of normal ovarian function. This suggests that at least some ovarian cells are primed to produce the paracrine stimulus needed for new blood vessel growth and that, on transformation, this capability is present early in tumor development. Second, the characteristically large size of ovarian tumors indicates that angiogenesis is mandatory to sustain the tumor. In this article, we review the experimental and clinical correlative data that support the hypothesis that ovarian cancers are highly angiogenic. Because a critical component of angiogenesis is the paracrine and autocrine production of vascular endothelial cell growth factor, there is substantial focus on this topic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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