New non-angiogenesis dependent pathways for tumour growth

D. Ribatti, A. Vacca, F. Dammacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current wisdom is that tumours are endowed with an angiogenic capability and that their growth, invasion and metastasis are angiogenesis-dependent. This article summarises the literature concerning recent histomorphological studies that indicate that some tumours may be vascularised without significant angiogenesis, probably by using existing vessels, a process later described as vascular co-option, or even by forming vascular channels on their own through a non-endothelial cell process called "vascular mimicry". Moreover, the possibility that bone marrow-derived stem cells may also be a source of endothelial precursor cells recruited for tumour-induced neovascularisation, is reviewed. In fact, it has been assumed that the additional endothelial cells required to construct new tumour vessels come from the division and proliferation of local endothelial cells and that endothelial cells incorporated into sites of neovascularisation, including tumour-induced new blood vessels, may be derived from these precursor cells. Finally, lymphoangiogenesis as a mechanism of de novo formation of lymphatics, favouring the metastatic dissemination of tumour cells, is summarised. Potential therapeutic applications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1835-1841
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • Angiogenesis
  • Anti-angiogenesis
  • Tumour progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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