The Biology of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, a Specific Regulator of Angiogenesis

  • Napoleone Ferrara
Part of the Serono Symposia USA Norwell, Massachusetts book series (SERONOSYMP)


The establishment of a vascular supply is required for organ development and differentiation as well as for tissue repair and reproductive functions in the adult (1–3). Neovascularization (angiogenesis) is also implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of disorders: proliferative retinopathies, age-related macular degeneration, tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. In the case of proliferative retinopathies and age-related macular degeneration, the new blood vessels are responsible for many of the destructive events characteristic of these conditions, as leakage and bleeding may ultimately lead to retinal detachment or irreversible damage to the macula (4). Conversely, in neoplasms neovascularization provides nourishment to the growing tumor, thus allowing tumor cells to express their critical growth advantage (2, 3). Accordingly, a strong correlation has been noted between density of microvessels in primary breast cancers and their nodal metastases and patient survival (5, 6). Similarly, a correlation has been reported between vascularity and invasive behavior in several other tumors (7–11).


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Bullous Pemphigoid Central Retinal Vein Occlusion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Napoleone Ferrara

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