Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2011 Jul 4;65:437-46.

[Tumor blood vessels].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

Centrum Onkologii-Instytut im. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie, Oddział w Gliwicach.


Growth of tumors usually depends on the development of the tumor’s own vasculature. Small avascular tumors (1–2 mm3) cannot continue growth provided an equilibrium between pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors is maintained within the tumor environment. Angiogenesis is not the only factor responsible for tumor blood vessels forming, as vasculogenic mimicry plays an equally substantial role in this process. Vessel-like structures formed during this process are made up from cancer cells, macrophages and mast cells. Certain neoplasms are capable of growing without developing their own vasculature; instead they secure growth via normal blood vessels of the host. Slowed-down blood flow through an abnormally built tumor vascular network is the main reason for cancer cells’ underoxygenation (hypoxia). Defective blood vessels, with hypoxia resulting, play a major role in tumor progression. Underoxygenation induces formation of novel vessels and these new defective vessels are in turn the principal reason for hypoxia. The latter increases cancer cells’ malignancy and invasiveness. A particular process, called transdifferentiation, takes place in tumor vasculature when hypoxia is present and involves neoplastic cells transforming into endothelial cells. Since growth of a tumor is dependent on its own blood supply, inhibition of such vascular network growth and/or damage to this network should exert a strong impact on tumor growth. Long-term administration of anti-angiogenic drugs, however, encounters unexpected problems. Anti-angiogenic drug resistance, together with paradoxical stimulation of invasiveness and metastasis by these drugs, has lately become a dominant issue in anticancer therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for IndexCopernicus
    Loading ...
    Support Center