The use of various transgenic mouse models and analysis of human tumour biopsies has shown that bone marrow-derived myeloid cells, such as macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils, mast cells and dendritic cells, have an important role in regulating the formation and maintenance of blood vessels in tumours. In this Review the evidence for each of these cell types driving tumour angiogenesis is outlined, along with the mechanisms regulating their recruitment and activation by the tumour microenvironment. We also discuss the therapeutic implications of recent findings that specific myeloid cell populations modulate the responses of tumours to agents such as chemotherapy and some anti-angiogenic therapies.
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