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J Leukoc Biol. 1995 May;57(5):752-62.

Role of C-X-C chemokines as regulators of angiogenesis in lung cancer.

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University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Internal Medicine (Division of Pulmonary and Critical Medicine), Ann Arbor 48109-0360, USA.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of malignancy-related mortality in the U.S. and is predicted to increase over the remainder of this decade. Despite attempts to advance early diagnosis and use combination therapies, the clinical response of this cancer yields an overall 5-year survival rate of less than 15%. Clearly, new strategies for therapy are indicated. Although carcinogenesis is complex, tumor growth beyond 1-2 mm3 is dependent on angiogenesis. One of the potential mechanisms that allows for tumorigenesis is dysregulation of the balance of angiogenic and angiostatic factors that favors net neovascularization within the primary tumor. Numerous studies have investigated the role of a variety of molecules in the regulation of angiogenesis. Recently, interleukin-8 (IL-8), a member of the C-X-C chemokine family, has been found to be an angiogenic factor. In contrast, platelet factor 4 (PF4), another C-X-C chemokine, has been shown to have angiostatic properties. It is interesting that the major structural difference between IL-8 and PF4 is the presence of the NH2-terminal ELR (Glu-Leu-Arg) motif that precedes the first cysteine amino acid residue of IL-8 and is important in ligand/receptor interactions. We hypothesize that angiogenesis associated with tumorigenesis is dependent on members of the C-X-C chemokine family acting as either angiogenic or angiostatic factors. This paradigm predicts that the biological balance in the expression of these C-X-C chemokines dictates whether the neoplasm grows and develops metastatic potential or regresses. In this review we discuss our recent laboratory findings that support this contention and suggest that further elucidation of the biology of C-X-C chemokines in the context of neovascularization of nonsmall cell lung cancer will permit novel targeted therapy aimed specifically at attenuating tumor growth and metastasis.

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