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Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2011 Jan 1;16:1413-27.

Vasculogenensis, angiogenesis and special features of tumor blood vessels.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan.


The circulatory system comprises a tubular network of blood vessels including arterioles, capillaries, venules, and lymphatic vessels. This circulatory system is essential for the embryonic development and maintenance of all tissues, which requires the transportation of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrition. The system regulates the movement of fluid into and out of organs with high level of efficiency. "Tumor angiogenesis" describes the rapid growth of certain components of the circulatory system in an abnormal fashion that is both heterogeneous and dysregulated. The aberrant flow between abnormal tumor vessels and normal vessels poses a high risk for seeding of potentially metastatic cancer cells. Moreover, it has also been reported that premetastatic distant organ vessels already undergo specific changes due to the presence of a remote primary tumor. Therapeutic strategies aimed at targeting tumor vessels have the potential to suppress tumor growth, and also influence the effects of tumor-derived cytokines and circulating tumor cells. Furthermore, focusing on vessels in a premetastatic organ that have responded to a primary tumor may be one possibility for reducing metastatic risk.

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