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Lymphat Res Biol. 2008;6(3-4):155-63. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2008.1011.

Roles of integrins in tumor angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.

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Moores USCD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, California.


The lifelong dedication of Dr. Judah Folkman to understand how tumors co-opt vasculature to promote tumor growth and spread resulted in the development of an astounding body of knowledge and development of new clinical therapeutics for cancer. Angiogenesis is a critical point in the development and dissemination of most human tumors. Tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis also plays an important role in mediating tumor spread to lymph nodes. The molecular regulations of these processes are complex, and many key molecular families have been implicated in the regulation of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. By regulating cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts, integrins participate in blood and lymphatic vessel growth by promoting endothelial cell migration and survival. Understanding the underlying mechanisms by which integrins promote tumor-associated blood and lymphatic vessel development might provide important modalities for the therapeutic intervention of metastatic spread. This review focuses on the role of integrins in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Integrins represent potential targets for pharmacological agents and open new avenues for the control of metastatic spread in the treatment of malignancies. This article is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Judah Folkman, an amazing and caring teacher, scientist, physician, and friend.

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