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Applied Vascular Biology: Can Angiogenesis Inhibitors Help Control Malignant Growth?

David A. Cramer, MD
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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(10):841-843. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-10-199811150-00029
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A primordial event in the young fetus is vasculogenesis: the transformation of progenitor cells into interconnecting tubes of endothelial cells that act as conduits for the circulating blood, enabling it to perfuse all body tissues. Starting nearly at the same time, new capillaries sprout from existing vessels in what is aptly called angiogenesis, which literally means the “birth of vessels.” These new vessels eventually are pruned and remodeled, developing into the adult circulatory system. Endothelial cells are ordinarily quiescent-their turnover time is measured in years-unless activated by a situation that increases the body's need for blood, such as the menstrual cycle, a healing wound, and certain ocular diseases. Another situation, which has attracted much interest in recent years, is the formation and growth of tumors.

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Figure 1.
Representative untreated and treated tumors.topmiddlebottom

The mice on the left of all three panels were left untreated; the mice on the right were treated with angiostatin. Human prostate cancer ( ), breast cancer ( ), and colon cancer ( ) are shown. From Nat Med. 1996; 2:689-92, with permission.

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