News of the WeekCancer Research

New Type of Blood Vessel Found in Tumors

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Science  03 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5433, pp. 1475
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5433.1475

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New blood vessels are normally formed by a special type of cell called endothelial cells, in a process called angiogenesis. But researchers report in the current issue of the American Journal of Pathology that highly malignant uveal melanomas, which develop in the eye, are full of networks of blood channels made by the melanoma cells themselves. If further work confirms that this phenomenon is widespread, cancer biologists may need to rethink their strategy for developing antiangiogenesis drugs, which is currently directed at endothelial cells. However, the work may also help researchers find genes needed for both types of vessel formation, which could provide new drug targets.