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Angiogenesis in Ovarian Cancer
Angiogenesis is the growth of blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to tumors. It is a critical process in the development and progression of ovarian and most other cancers. As tumors grow, they produce proteins called growth factors that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. One of the best-studied promoters of tumor angiogenesis is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Tumors that produce copious amounts of VEGF are faster growing, more aggressive, and more likely metastasize to other parts of the body3. Additionally, VEGF causes tumor blood vessels to become abnormally porous and leak fluid into surrounding tissues. This feature contributes to a condition called malignant ascites, in which fluid laced with malignant tumor cells builds up in the abdominal cavity. Malignant ascites has been linked to high VEGF levels in ovarian cancer and other tumors types4.


Last updated July 5, 2011