Concise Review: Vascular Stem Cells and Tumor Angiogenesis§

Authors

  • Juan M. Melero-Martin,

    1. Department of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrew C. Dudley

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Telephone: 617-919-2166; Fax: 617-730-0231


  • Author contributions: J.M.M.-M. and A.C.D.: wrote the manuscript.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS December 23, 2010; available online without subscription through the open access option.

Abstract

Solid tumors are complex “organs” of cancer cells and a heterogeneous population of hematopoietic cells, mesenchymal cells, and endothelial cells. The cancer stem cell model proposes that tumor growth and progression is driven by rare populations of cancer stem cells; however, nontumor-forming stem and progenitor cells are also present within the tumor microenvironment. These adult stem cells do not form tumors when injected into experimental animals, but they may augment tumor growth through juxtacrine and paracrine regulation of tumor cells and by contributing to neovascularization. Thus, cancer cells may actively co-opt nontumor-forming stem cells distally from the bone marrow or proximally from nearby tissue and subvert their abilities to differentiate and maintain tissue growth, repair, and angiogenesis. This review will cover the roles of nontumor-forming vascular stem cells in tumor growth and angiogenesis. STEM CELLS 2011;29:163–168

Ancillary