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Click2Cancer.com  > Treatments of Cancer > Angiogenesis Therapy
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Angiogenesis is a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Though there has been some debate over this, vasculogenesis is the term used for spontaneous blood-vessel formation, and intussusception is the term for new blood vessel formation by splitting off existing ones.

Angiogenesis is a normal process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing. However, this is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant state.

Sprouting angiogenesis was the first identified form of angiogenesis. It occurs in several well-characterized stages. First, biological signals known as angiogenic growth factors activate receptors present on endothelial cells present in pre-existing veins. Second, the activated endothelial cells begin to release enzymes called proteases that degrade the basement membrane in order to allow endothelial cells to escape from the original (parent) vessel walls. The endothelial cells then proliferate into the surrounding matrix and form solid sprouts connecting neighboring vessels. As sprouts extend toward the source of the angiogenic stimulus, endothelial cells migrate in tandem, using adhesion molecules, the equivalent of cellular grappling hooks, called integrins. These sprouts then form loops to become a full-fledged vessel lumen as cells migrate to the site of angiogenesis. Sprouting occurs at a rate of several millimeters per day, and enables new vessels to grow across gaps in the vasculature. It is markedly different from splitting angiogenesis, however, because it forms entirely new vessels as opposed to splitting existing vessels

Intussusception, also known as splitting angiogenesis, was first observed in neonatal rats. In this type of vessel formation, the capillary wall extends into the lumen to split a single vessel in two. There are four phases of intussusceptive angiogenesis. First, the two opposing capillary walls establish a zone of contact. Second, the endothelial cell junctions are reorganized and the vessel bilayer is perforated to allow growth factors and cells to penetrate into the lumen. Third, a core is formed between the two new vessels at the zone of contact that is filled with pericytes and myofibroblasts

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