Investigations into Tumor Angiogenesis

Angiogenesis (the recruitment and formation of new blood vessels) plays a fundamental role in vessel development in the embryo and placenta during pregnancy. In adults, it is confined mainly to the menstrual cycle and wound healing, and its occurrence otherwise often heralds pathologic states such as tumor development, atherosclerosis, endometriosis, ischemic injury, or macular degeneration. The late Dr. Judah Folkman, founder of the tumor angiogenesis field, demonstrated that tumors cannot grow beyond a minimal size without recruiting new blood vessels. His suggestion that inhibition of such tumor angiogenesis may be an effective and novel means to target tumors has led to a paradigm shift in cancer care. Hundreds of clinical trials worldwide are now testing anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies.

Considerable basic and translational angiogenesis research has been conducted at the Center of Cancer Systems Biology. Several members of our team over the years had tight research collaborations with or trained under Dr. Folkman. Among these have been Lynn Hlatky, Philip Hahnfeldt, Amir Abdollahi, Giannoula Klement, Nava Almog, Clare Lamont, Abdo Abou-Slaybi, and Kashi Javaherian. Many of the angiogenic initiatives these researchers designed jointly with Dr. Folkman continued at the CCSB, dovetailing with two of our Center's primary interests: to investigate how intercellular interactions and tumor microenvironment modify tumor evolution, and to develop predictive quantitative models of carcinogenesis and metastasis.


A strong body of work on the topic of tumor angiogenesis has been published by researchers at the CCSB: