Cancer Biology

How Tumors Keep Their Blood Vessels Flowing

Science's STKE  08 Jul 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 190, pp. tw266-TW266
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.190.tw266

Solid tumors usually feed their own growth by producing factors that stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. However, the tumor microenvironment also harbors factors that should promote the apoptotic death of the endothelial cells (ECs) that comprise these new vessels. Alavi et al. find that ECs are protected from both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of apoptosis, because they activate Raf-1 kinase. Given its critical role in cell survival, the Raf-1 kinase is a potentially target for anti-angiogenesis drugs.

A. Alavi, J. D. Hood, R. Frausto, D. G. Stupack, D. A. Cheresh, Role of Raf in vascular protection from distinct apoptotic stimuli. Science 301, 94-96 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]