Vascular endothelial growth factor in ovarian cancer

Curr Oncol Rep. 1999 Sep;1(1):59-63. doi: 10.1007/s11912-999-0011-9.


Tumor growth requires nutrients and oxygen. Both nutrients and oxygen are provided via the vasculature. Thus, when a tumor increases in volume, new blood vessels must form and invade the expanding tumor. This process, called angiogenesis, has theoretical significance in the context of ovarian cancer for two reasons. First, the process of angiogenesis and vessel regression occurs in a tightly controlled way as part of normal ovarian function. This suggests that at least some ovarian cells are primed to produce the paracrine stimulus needed for new blood vessel growth and that, on transformation, this capability is present early in tumor development. Second, the characteristically large size of ovarian tumors indicates that angiogenesis is mandatory to sustain the tumor. In this article, we review the experimental and clinical correlative data that support the hypothesis that ovarian cancers are highly angiogenic. Because a critical component of angiogenesis is the paracrine and autocrine production of vascular endothelial cell growth factor, there is substantial focus on this topic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / analysis*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors