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Actively growing tumors have a high demand for oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, they stimulate the growth of blood vessels. This process is called angiogenesis. If tumor-associated angiogenesis is suppressed, this may limit tumor growth. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the European Center for Angioscience at Heidelberg University have now discovered a new target for anti-angiogenic tumor therapy. They show that the deletion of a signaling molecule in mice leads to the formation of less blood vessels in late-stage tumors. This delays their growth and limits the formation of metastases.

Like all cells in our body, cancer cells require nutrients and oxygen, which are delivered by blood vessels. Since cancer cells divide particularly fast, new blood vessels need to grow rapidly and in an uncontrolled fashion into the tumor. Blocking this process could limit tumor growth. Scientists in the laboratory of Hellmut Augustin have now shown that the receptor Tie1 plays a crucial role in angiogenesis. Tie1 is expressed by endothelial cells, the cells lining the inside of all blood vessels. Tie1 interacts with other signaling molecules and thereby controls the growth of blood vessels.

Tie1 is overexpressed in the vasculature of tumors. This contributes to the

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