Vascular endothelial cells are ordinarily quiescent in adult humans and divide less than once per decade. When tumors reach a size of about 0.2-2.0 mm in diameter, they become hypoxic and limited in size in the absence of angiogenesis. There are about 30 endogenous pro-angiogenic factors and about 30 endogenous anti-angiogenic factors. In order to increase in size, tumors undergo an angiogenic switch where the action of pro-angiogenic factors predominates, resulting in angiogenesis and tumor progression. One mechanism for driving angiogenesis results from the increased production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) following up-regulation of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor. The human VEGF family consists of VEGF (VEGF-A), VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and placental growth factor (PlGF). The VEGF family of receptors consists of three protein-tyrosine kinases and two non-protein kinase receptors (neuropilin-1 and -2). Owing to the importance of angiogenesis in tumor progression, inhibition of VEGF signaling represents an attractive cancer treatment. © 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Roskoski, R. (2007, June). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling in tumor progression. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2007.01.006