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Trends Immunol. 2007 Dec;28(12):519-24. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Tie2-expressing monocytes: regulation of tumor angiogenesis and therapeutic implications.

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Angiogenesis and Tumor Targeting Research Unit and San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina, Milan, Italy.


Tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells are involved in crucial processes during tumor development. A subset of monocytes that express the angiopoietin receptor Tie2 play an important role in tumor angiogenesis. Selective depletion of these Tie2-expressing monocytes (TEMs) in tumor-bearing mice inhibits tumor angiogenesis and growth, suggesting that they might regulate angiogenic processes in tumors by providing paracrine support to nascent blood vessels. TEMs have also been identified in human blood and tumors. We discuss here the therapeutic opportunities emanating from the discovery of TEMs, which include the identification of new antitumor targets, monitoring TEMs as surrogate markers for clinical responses in cancer patients, and the possible use of TEMs as cellular vehicles for gene delivery to tumors.

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