News of the WeekCancer Research

A Face-Off Over Tumor Blood Supply

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Science  04 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5454, pp. 783-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5454.783b

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Last September, cancer biologists suggested that in certain aggressive melanomas, blood-conducting channels that nourish the growing tumor are formed by the cancer cells themselves, rather than by the endothelial cells that normally make blood vessels (Science, 3 September 1999, p. 1475). If correct, the finding could have major implications for efforts to find new cancer drugs that work by inhibiting blood vessel formation. But some researchers maintain that the structures the team described could not be blood-conducting channels and have outlined their objections in a commentary in The American Journal of Pathology, where the original work was published. The team is sticking to its guns, however, so time has been set aside for both sides to thrash out their arguments at a Keystone meeting on angiogenesis in Salt Lake City in early March.