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Cancer Metab. 2014 Sep 15;2:19. doi: 10.1186/2049-3002-2-19. eCollection 2014.

Endothelial cell metabolism: parallels and divergences with cancer cell metabolism.

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Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular link, Vesalius Research Center, Department of Oncology, University of Leuven, Leuven 3000, Belgium ; Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular link, Vesalius Research Center, VIB, K.U.Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, box 912, Leuven 3000, Belgium.


The stromal vasculature in tumors is a vital conduit of nutrients and oxygen for cancer cells. To date, the vast majority of studies have focused on unraveling the genetic basis of vessel sprouting (also termed angiogenesis). In contrast to the widely studied changes in cancer cell metabolism, insight in the metabolic regulation of angiogenesis is only just emerging. These studies show that metabolic pathways in endothelial cells (ECs) importantly regulate angiogenesis in conjunction with genetic signals. In this review, we will highlight these emerging insights in EC metabolism and discuss them in perspective of cancer cell metabolism. While it is generally assumed that cancer cells have unique metabolic adaptations, not shared by healthy non-transformed cells, we will discuss parallels and highlight differences between endothelial and cancer cell metabolism and consider possible novel therapeutic opportunities arising from targeting both cancer and endothelial cells.


Angiogenesis; Antiangiogenic therapy; Cancer; Cancer cell metabolism; Endothelial cell metabolism; Glycolysis; Metabolic pathways; Metabolism

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