Growth of solid tumors beyond 1-2 mm in diameter requires the induction and maintenance of a new blood supply, a process also known as angiogenesis. Failure to induce an angiogenic response may result in tumor ‘dormancy’ and interference with an established blood supply leads to necrosis or apoptosis of tumor cells and tumor regression.
Angiogenesis is a tightly regulated process maintained by a balance of positive and negative regulatory pathways. Because of its central role in neoplasia, other non-neoplastic disorders, and in normal adult physiology, angiogenesis has recently attracted a great deal of scientific interest. Tumor angiogenesis is thought to result from the secretion of "angiogenesis factors" by tumor cells; these include growth factors, cytokines, and also a number of small molecules. Growth factors possessing angiogenic activity include fibroblast growth factor (FGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), and vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF).
- Regulation and function of angiogenic growth factors
- Tumor stroma
- Endothelial biology
- Cell signaling
- Preclinical models for tumor biology and angiogenesis
- Angiogenesis and the immune system