Inhibiting cancer blood vessel growth, illustration

Inhibiting cancer blood vessel growth, illustration

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Credit: GUNILLA ELAM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inhibiting cancer blood vessel growth. Illustration showing a tumour promoting the formation of new blood vessels. The cells in a small tumour (top) begin to release angiogenic growth factor proteins (yellow), such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), that encourage the growth of new blood vessels from existing ones. These blood vessels provide the tumour with oxygen and nutrients, promoting its transformation from benign to malignant cancer, allowing it to grow and spread. Drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors (blue) can be used to prevent blood vessel growth, causing the tumour to shrink (bottom).

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