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Keywords:

  • anti-lymphangiogenesis;
  • lymphogenous cancer spread;
  • angiogenesis;
  • lymphatic development

Abstract

This review updates historical background from century-old observations on embryonic lymphatic system development through current understanding of the molecular basis of lymphvasculogenesis/lymphangiogenesis (“molecular lymphology”), highlighting similarities and differences with analogous blood vasculature processes. Topics covered include molecular mechanisms in lymphatic development, structural adaptations of the lymphatic vasculature to particulate and cellular transport and trafficking, lymphogenous route of clinical cancer spread, preservation of delineated lymphatic pathways during cancer operations, and anti-lymphangiogenesis in cancer therapy. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;103:489–500. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.