Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which was originally discovered as vascular permeability factor, is critical to human cancer angiogenesis through its potent functions as a stimulator of endothelial cell survival, mitogenesis, migration, differentiation and self-assembly, as well as vascular permeability, immunosuppression and mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells from the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation. Genetic alterations and a chaotic tumor microenvironment, such as hypoxia, acidosis, free radicals, and cytokines, are clearly attributed to numerous abnormalities in the expression and signaling of VEGF and its receptors. These perturbations confer a tremendous survival and growth advantage to vascular endothelial cells as manifested by exuberant tumor angiogenesis and a consequent malignant phenotype. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms of both inducible and constitutive VEGF expression will be crucial in designing effective therapeutic strategies targeting VEGF to control tumor growth and metastasis. In this review, molecular regulation of VEGF expression in tumor cells is discussed.