Background: We review the role of peptide growth factors in angiogenesis and progression of low grade glial tumors to higher grade glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Methods: Vascular pathology is a key feature of glioblastoma multiforme characterized by hypervascularity, vascular permeability, and hypercoagulability.
Results: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can mediate all of these effects, but by itself does not promote malignant growth. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) are implicated in the angiogenesis of a number of tumors including those of glial origin.
Conclusions: These growth factors are suggested to play a role in autocrine and/or paracrine mediated tumorogenesis of astrocytic tumors. VEGF secretion might be the product of induction by physiologic concentrations of other growth factors with VEGF being the common pathway of neovascularization and progression to GBM.