Interruption of tumor dormancy by a transient angiogenic burst within the tumor microenvironment

Stefano Indraccolo, Laura Stievano, Sonia Minuzzo, Valeria Tosello, Giovanni Esposito, Erich Piovan, Rita Zamarchi, Luigi Chieco-Bianchi, Alberto Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor growth is currently viewed as a phenomenon associated with neovascularization and sustained production of angiogenic factors, but whether a transient angiogenic switch may trigger tumor growth remains unclear. Here, we report that leukemia cells (MOLT-3) were poorly angiogenic and remained dormant when injected s.c. into immunodeficient mice. However, progressive growth of lymphoid tumors was invariably recorded when irradiated angiogenic cells from Kaposi's sarcoma (KS-IMM) were locally coinjected with MOLT-3 cells or administered later. The persistence of KS-IMM cells in vivo was tracked by flow cytometry and real-time PCR analysis, and it was limited to a few days, during which angiogenesis was induced and preceded tumor growth. The engraftment of other types of poorly tumorigenic cancer cells was also greatly improved by irradiated KS-IMM cells. Moreover, short-term treatment with angiogenic factors, including basic FGF or VEGF, either given as recombinant factors or delivered by retroviral vectors, also accelerated tumor growth. These findings may emphasize that tumor angiogenesis is a process requiring a higher amount of angiogenic factors for its induction than maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4216-4221
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2006


  • Angiogenesis
  • Basic FGF
  • Leukemia
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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