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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2012 Jun;31(1-2):143-62. doi: 10.1007/s10555-011-9337-5.

Significance of vascular endothelial growth factor in growth and peritoneal dissemination of ovarian cancer.

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Department of Surgery, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia,


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of angiogenesis which drives endothelial cell survival, proliferation, and migration while increasing vascular permeability. Playing an important role in the physiology of normal ovaries, VEGF has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. Essentially by promoting tumor angiogenesis and enhancing vascular permeability, VEGF contributes to the development of peritoneal carcinomatosis associated with malignant ascites formation, the characteristic feature of advanced ovarian cancer at diagnosis. In both experimental and clinical studies, VEGF levels have been inversely correlated with survival. Moreover, VEGF inhibition has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and ascites production and to suppress tumor invasion and metastasis. These findings have laid the basis for the clinical evaluation of agents targeting VEGF signaling pathway in patients with ovarian cancer. In this review, we will focus on VEGF involvement in the pathophysiology of ovarian cancer and its contribution to the disease progression and dissemination.

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