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Tumor angiogenesis: pathophysiology and implications for contrast-enhanced MRI and CT assessment.

Abstract : The process of tumor neoangiogenesis plays a central role in the growth and spread of tumors. It is currently a leading theme in oncology, and many new drugs targeting the tumor neoangiogenic process are under development. Expanding tumors become hypoxic and tumor cells express transcription factors, such as the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), which induce the release of proangiogenic growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) and transforming growth factors that promote the formation of new capillaries by recruiting, activating, and stimulating endothelial cells. Activated endothelial cells secrete matrix metalloproteases, which degrade the basement membrane and the extracellular matrix, and adhesion receptors such as integrins alphavbeta(3), which allow their migration into the extracellular matrix toward the tumor cells. The newly grown vessels are immature and differ from normal capillaries. They are tortuous and irregular, resulting in poorly efficient perfusion, they are leaky (especially to macromolecules), and they are independent of the normal mechanisms of regulation of the capillary blood flow. Moreover, tumor microcirculation is heterogeneous. Evaluation of angiogenesis can be used as a prognostic marker to evaluate the aggressiveness of tumor and as a potential predictive marker of antiangiogenic treatment response. Histopathologic techniques of microvascular density indexes require invasive tissue sampling and need to be standardized. Hemodynamic characteristics of immature neovessels can be noninvasively assessed by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. Tissue enhancement depends on arterial input function, kinetic of distribution of blood into the capillary bed, leakage across the capillary walls, and volume of the interstitial space. Pharmacodynamic models allow the evaluation of microvascular parameters of tissue blood flow, tissue blood volume, tissue interstitial volume, mean transit time, and permeability by surface of capillary wall. Methods based on dynamic contrast enhancement have been shown to correlate with conventional outcome methods such as histopathologic studies and survival. Radiologists must be convinced that, by using this emerging and promising approach, it is becoming possible to gain functional information during routine tumor imaging.
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Contributor : Vanessa Saidi <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 18, 2007 - 10:21:17 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 11:16:51 AM



C. Cuenod, L. Fournier, D. Balvay, Jm Guinebretière. Tumor angiogenesis: pathophysiology and implications for contrast-enhanced MRI and CT assessment.. Abdominal Imaging, Springer Verlag, 2006, 31 (2), pp.188-93. ⟨10.1007/s00261-005-0386-5⟩. ⟨inserm-00147472⟩



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