Indexed on: 06 Apr '06Published on: 06 Apr '06Published in: Cancer research
Recent improvements in diagnostic methods have opened avenues for detection and treatment of (pre)malignant lesions at early stages. However, due to the lack of spontaneous tumor models that both mimic human carcinogenesis and allow direct optical imaging of the vasculature, little is known about the function of blood and lymphatic vessels during the early stages of cancer development. Here, we used a spontaneous carcinogenesis model in the skin of DNA polymerase eta-deficient mice and found that interstitial fluid pressure was already elevated in the hyperplastic/dysplastic stage. This was accompanied by angiogenic blood vasculature that exhibited altered permeability, vessel compression, and decreased alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive perivascular cell coverage. In addition, the lymphatic vessels in hyperplastic/dysplastic lesions were partly compressed and nonfunctional. These novel insights may aid early detection and treatment strategies for cancer.