Revista de Oncología

, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp 462–467 | Cite as

The importance of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer

  • Lorenzo Alonso Carrión
  • Francisco Jesús González Sánchez
  • Emilio Alba Conejo
  • Esperanza Torres Sánchez


Advanced stage ovarian cancer has a high rate of recurrence even after surgery followed by chemotherapy combining carboplatin and a taxane. New strategies are currently under way to combat this situation and one of the most promising ones is based on the knowledge that angiogenesis, the mechanism of formation of new blood vessels coupled with the degradation of the extracellular matrix for metalloproteinases, could be crucial in the development of this tumor. The principal molecule implicated in angiogenesis process of ovarian cancer is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Several studies are now in progress to clarify its role as a diagnostic tool or its therapeutic implication. Presently, there is no indication for the use of VEGF in a preliminary diagnosis seeing that an increase in levels can be seen in both benign and malignant ovarian conditions. VEGF is also responsible for an increase in vascular permeability and is directly related to symptoms such as ascites and pleural effusion, both of which are frequent in ovarian cancer. Several papers have analised the role of VEGF as a prognostic factor and some of them do confirm VEGF as an independent prognostic factor in ovarian cancer. VEGF and the metalloproteinase system coupled with angiogenesis are currently being evaluated as therapeutic targets but no positive results have yet to be seen in this field.

Key words

ovarian cancer angiogenesis prognostic factor VEGF 

La importancia de la angiogénesis en el cáncer de ovario


El cáncer de ovario tiene un elevado porcentaje de recaída incluso tras un tratamiento agresivo que incluye cirugía seguida de quimioterapia combinando carboplatino y un taxano. Se están desarrollando nuevos métodos para resolver esta situación y uno de los más prometedores proviene de los nuevos conocimientos sobre angiogénesis, el mecanismo de formación de nuevos vasos sanguíneos, el cual unido al proceso de degradación de la matriz extracelular por las metaloproteinasas puede ser crucial para la expansión de esta neoplasia. La molécula más importante para la angiogénesis en cáncer de ovario es el factor de crecimiento vascular endotelial (VEGF). Se está evaluando su papel como medio diagnóstico y las posibles implicaciones terapéuticas. Hasta el momento no hay indicación para VEGF como herramienta diagnóstica en cáncer de ovario, ya que sus niveles pueden aumentar tanto en procesos benignos como malignos. El VEGF está implicado en la aparición de ascitis y derrame pleural. Varios artículos han demostrado la utilidad de VEGF como factor pronóstico en cáncer de ovario. La utilidad de VEGF como diana terapéutica y del sistema de metaloproteinasas se encuentra en fase de estudio.

Palabras clave

cáncer de ovario angiogénesis factor pronóstico VEGF 


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Copyright information

© FESEO 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Alonso Carrión
    • 1
  • Francisco Jesús González Sánchez
    • 1
  • Emilio Alba Conejo
    • 1
  • Esperanza Torres Sánchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Servicio de Oncología MédicaHospital Clínico de MálagaEspaña

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