The precise mechanisms whereby anti-angiogenesis therapy blocks tumour growth or causes vascular toxicity are unknown. We propose that endothelial cells establish a vascular niche that promotes tumour growth and tissue repair not only by delivering nutrients and O2 but also through an 'angiocrine' mechanism by producing stem and progenitor cell-active trophogens. Identification of endothelial-derived instructive angiocrine factors will allow direct tumour targeting, while diminishing the unwanted side effects associated with the use of anti-angiogenic agents.
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