The concept of cancer as a cell-autonomous disease has been challenged by the wealth of knowledge gathered in the past decades on the importance of tumor microenvironment (TM) in cancer progression and metastasis. The significance of endothelial cells (ECs) in this scenario was initially attributed to their role in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis that is critical for tumor initiation and growth. Nevertheless, the identification of endothelial-derived angiocrine factors illustrated an alternative non-angiogenic function of ECs contributing to both physiological and pathological tissue development. Gene expression profiling studies have demonstrated distinctive expression patterns in tumor-associated endothelial cells that imply a bilateral crosstalk between tumor and its endothelium. Recently, some of the molecular determinants of this reciprocal interaction have been identified which are considered as potential targets for developing novel anti-angiocrine therapeutic strategies.
- Cancer microenvironment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)