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J BUON. 2016 May-Jun;21(3):533-41.

Vasculogenic mimicry and tumor metastasis.

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Department of Graduate, Weifang Medical College, Weifang, Shandong, Chin.


Vasculogenic mimicry (VM), a microvascular channel made up of nonendothelial cells, has been accepted as a new model of neovascularization in aggressive tumors, owning to the specific capacity of malignant cells to form vessel-like networks which provide sufficient blood supply for tumor growth. Multiple molecular mechanisms, especially vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular receptor A2 (EphA2), phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR1), and hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1a, have been reported to participate in VM formation which is associated with tumor migration and invasion. In addition, hypoxia, cancer stem cells (CSCs) and epithelial-mesenehymal transition (EMT) are regarded as significant factors in VM formation and tumor metastasis. Due to the important effects of VM on tumor progression, a review was carried out in the present study, to synthetically analyze the relationship between VM and tumor metastasis.

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