Targeting lymphangiogenesis to prevent tumour metastasis.

Research paper by M G MG Achen, G B GB Mann, S A SA Stacker

Indexed on: 28 Apr '06Published on: 28 Apr '06Published in: British Journal of Cancer


Recent studies involving animal models of cancer and clinicopathological analyses of human tumours suggest that the growth of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis) in or nearby tumours is associated with the metastatic spread of cancer. The best validated molecular signalling system for tumour lymphangiogenesis involves the secreted proteins vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and VEGF-D that induce growth of lymphatic vessels via activation of VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) localised on the surface of lymphatic endothelial cells. In this review, we discuss the evidence supporting a role for this signalling system in the spread of cancer and potential approaches for blocking this system to prevent tumour metastasis.