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Cell Tissue Res. 2009 Jan;335(1):271-81. doi: 10.1007/s00441-008-0672-y. Epub 2008 Aug 23.

Molecular heterogeneity of tumor endothelium.

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The Center for Vascular Biology Research and Division of Molecular and Vascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, RW-663, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Tumors depend on a vascular supply for their growth. Tumor blood vessels, which are derived from normal tissue vasculature, display a markedly abnormal phenotype. Tumor endothelial properties are highly varied in space and time. An important goal is to delineate the range of phenotypes in tumor endothelium and to identify tumor endothelial-specific molecular signatures. This information should lead to a more complete understanding of the mechanisms of tumor growth, the discovery of new therapeutic targets, and the development of biomarkers for diagnosis and surveillance. The goals of this review are to outline recent advances in dissecting tumor endothelial-cell-specific gene expression, to address mechanisms of phenotypic heterogeneity in tumor vascular beds, and to discuss the therapeutic implications of these findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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