Pancreatic carcinogenesis: apoptosis and angiogenesis

Pancreas. 2004 Apr;28(3):317-9. doi: 10.1097/00006676-200404000-00020.


Apoptosis and angiogenesis are critical biologic processes that are altered during carcinogenesis. Both apoptosis and angiogenesis may play an important role in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Despite numerous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer, its prognosis remains dismal and a new therapeutic approach is much needed. Recent research has revealed that apoptosis and angiogenesis are closely interrelated. Several reports show that a tumor suppresser gene that is expressed in pancreatic carcinoma and related to malignant potential can induce apoptosis and also inhibit angiogenesis. At present, it is generally accepted that tumor growth in cancers, including pancreatic cancer, depends on angiogenesis. We have identified 2 new angiogenesis inhibitors from a conditioned medium of human pancreatic carcinoma cell line (BxPC-3): antiangiogenic antithrombin III (aaAT-III) and vitamin D binding protein-macrophage activating factor (DBP-maf). These molecules were able to regress tumors in severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) mice, demonstrating potent inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation. Moreover, the angiogenesis inhibitors induced tumor dormancy in the animal model. These results suggest that antiangiogenic therapy using angiogenesis inhibitors may become a new strategy for treatment of pancreatic cancer in the near future.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • vitamin D-binding protein-macrophage activating factor