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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Mar;2(3):a006536. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a006536.

Tumor endothelial cells.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA; and McAllister Heart Institute, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


The vascular endothelium is a dynamic cellular "organ" that controls passage of nutrients into tissues, maintains the flow of blood, and regulates the trafficking of leukocytes. In tumors, factors such as hypoxia and chronic growth factor stimulation result in endothelial dysfunction. For example, tumor blood vessels have irregular diameters; they are fragile, leaky, and blood flow is abnormal. There is now good evidence that these abnormalities in the tumor endothelium contribute to tumor growth and metastasis. Thus, determining the biological basis underlying these abnormalities is critical for understanding the pathophysiology of tumor progression and facilitating the design and delivery of effective antiangiogenic therapies.

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