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Nat Med. 2007 Oct;13(10):1211-8. Epub 2007 Sep 30.

Mast cells are required for angiogenesis and macroscopic expansion of Myc-induced pancreatic islet tumors.

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Cancer Research Institute and Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, 2340 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 94143-0875, USA.


An association between inflammation and cancer has long been recognized, but the cause and effect relationship linking the two remains unclear. Myc is a pleiotropic transcription factor that is overexpressed in many human cancers and instructs many extracellular aspects of the tumor tissue phenotype, including remodeling of tumor stroma and angiogenesis. Here we show in a beta-cell tumor model that activation of Myc in vivo triggers rapid recruitment of mast cells to the tumor site-a recruitment that is absolutely required for macroscopic tumor expansion. In addition, treatment of established beta-cell tumors with a mast cell inhibitor rapidly triggers hypoxia and cell death of tumor and endothelial cells. Inhibitors of mast cell function may therefore prove therapeutically useful in restraining expansion and survival of pancreatic and other cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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