Hypoxia, angiogenesis and cancer therapy: To breathe or not to breathe?

Paolo Michieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an expanding tumor conquers space within the host, it calls out for an increased oxygen supply. This demand is rarely matched by tumor blood vessels because neo-angiogenesis generates a structurally aberrant and functionally impaired vasculature. As a result of this unbalance, tumor progression is invariably associated with cancer cell hypoxia. Insufficient oxygenation appears to have opposing effects on cancer biology: on one hand, it limits tumor cell division; on the other, it selects for more malignant cells and it induces a series of cellular adaptations that sustain and foster tumor invasion. When designing a therapeutic strategy, how should we resolve this dichotomy? Should we cut oxygen supply, thereby halting neoplastic expansion, or should we let the tumor breathe, in order to prevent its malignant conversion?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3291-3296
Number of pages6
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2009


  • Angiogenesis
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Hypoxia
  • Invasive growth
  • Metastasis
  • Myoglobin
  • Target therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypoxia, angiogenesis and cancer therapy: To breathe or not to breathe?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this