Tumor angiogenesis--a potential target in cancer chemoprevention

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Apr;46(4):1334-45. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.08.032. Epub 2007 Aug 29.


Tumor angiogenesis is critically important for the growth of solid tumors as tumors remain in dormant phase for a long time in the absence of the initiation of blood vessel formation. Tumors can grow up to approximately 2mm size without requirement of blood supply as diffusion is sufficient at this level to support the removal of wastes from and supply of nutrients to tumor cells. Therefore, angiogenesis process could be an important target to suppress tumor growth and metastasis. Angiogenesis is required at almost every step of tumor progression and metastasis, and tumor vasculature has been identified as strong prognostic marker for tumor grading. Endothelial cells are the main players of angiogenesis process and could be peculiar target for antiangiogenic therapy because they are non-transformed and easily accessible to achievable concentrations of antiangiogenic agents, and also are unlikely to acquire drug resistance. Several antiangiogenic strategies have been developed to inhibit tumor growth by targeting different components of tumor angiogenesis. Chemopreventive agents have been shown to target and inhibit different aspects and components of angiogenesis process and can be used conveniently as they are mostly non-toxic natural compounds and could be part of our daily diet. However, a risk assessment for the use of antiangiogenic phytochemicals is needed as they can also disrupt normal physiologic angiogenesis such as wound healing and endometrium development processes. This review focuses on how different chemopreventive phytochemicals target various components of angiogenesis, including angiogenic signaling, which usually starts from tumor cells producing angiogenic factors and affecting endothelial cells growth, migration and capillary vessel organization for tumor angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control*
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Cytokines