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Tumor Endothelial Cell—A Biological Tool for Translational Cancer Research
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Role of Extracellular Matrix in Gastrointestinal Cancer-Associated Angiogenesis

1
Department of Research and Diagnosis, Division of Molecular Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO) IRCCS, 33081 Aviano, Italy
2
Department of Clinical Oncology, Experimental Gastrointestinal Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO) IRCCS, 33081 Aviano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
These authors share co-last authorship.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103686
Received: 4 May 2020 / Revised: 20 May 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Tumor Endothelial Cells)
Gastrointestinal tumors are responsible for more cancer-related fatalities than any other type of tumors, and colorectal and gastric malignancies account for a large part of these diseases. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop new therapeutic approaches to improve the patients’ outcome and the tumor microenvironment is a promising arena for the development of such treatments. In fact, the nature of the microenvironment in the different gastrointestinal tracts may significantly influence not only tumor development but also the therapy response. In particular, an important microenvironmental component and a potential therapeutic target is the vasculature. In this context, the extracellular matrix is a key component exerting an active effect in all the hallmarks of cancer, including angiogenesis. Here, we summarized the current knowledge on the role of extracellular matrix in affecting endothelial cell function and intratumoral vascularization in the context of colorectal and gastric cancer. The extracellular matrix acts both directly on endothelial cells and indirectly through its remodeling and the consequent release of growth factors. We envision that a deeper understanding of the role of extracellular matrix and of its remodeling during cancer progression is of chief importance for the development of new, more efficacious, targeted therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular matrix; endothelial cells; angiogenesis; tumor microenvironment extracellular matrix; endothelial cells; angiogenesis; tumor microenvironment
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Andreuzzi, E.; Capuano, A.; Poletto, E.; Pivetta, E.; Fejza, A.; Favero, A.; Doliana, R.; Cannizzaro, R.; Spessotto, P.; Mongiat, M. Role of Extracellular Matrix in Gastrointestinal Cancer-Associated Angiogenesis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3686.

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