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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2006;2(3):213-9.

Angiogenesis in cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Research Center of Innovative Cancer Therapy of the 21 Century, COE Program for Medical Science, Kurume University School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.


New growth in the vascular network is important since the proliferation, as well as metastatic spread, of cancer cells depends on an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients and the removal of waste products. New blood and lymphatic vessels form through processes called angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, respectively. Angiogenesis is regulated by both activator and inhibitor molecules. More than a dozen different proteins have been identified as angiogenic activators and inhibitors. Levels of expression of angiogenic factors reflect the aggressiveness of tumor cells. The discovery of angiogenic inhibitors should help to reduce both morbidity and mortality from carcinomas. Thousands of patients have received antiangiogenic therapy to date. Despite their theoretical efficacy, antiangiogeic treatments have not proved beneficial in terms of long-term survival. There is an urgent need for a new comprehensive treatment strategy combining antiangiogenic agents with conventional cytoreductive treatments in the control of cancer.

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