Metastasis and angiogenesis

Cancer Treat Res. 2004;117:285-304. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-8871-3_17.


Angiogenesis and the development of metastases are intrinsically connected. Experimental data suggest that establishment and growth of metastases are influenced by soluble factors secreted from the originating solid tumor. Among these factors are so-called endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis which keep metastasis in a non-proliferating quiescent state. For a number of tumors it has been shown that this dormant state is mediated through inhibition of angiogenesis. This dormant state is characterized by normal proliferation, increased apoptosis, and insufficient neovascularization. Removal of inhibiting antiangiogenic factors leads to growth of dormant metastases. Several endogenous inhibitors have been identified so far and some of them have already been successfully applied in experimental therapeutic trials. This might be of special interest for the treatment of cerebral metastases which are the most common type of malignant brain tumors. Similar to the spread of metastases, it is known that single glioma cells can be found in distant parts of the brain. While local recurrence is a common phenomenon in glioma, formation of clinical apparent distant metastasis occurs rarely. Several lines of evidence suggest that growth inhibition of remote glioma cells may be mediated by an endogenous inhibitory mechanism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Angiostatins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Division
  • Endostatins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Endostatins
  • Angiostatins