Vol 62, Supp. III (2011)
Review paper
Published online: 2011-12-08

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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in endocrinology and oncology

Dariusz Kajdaniuk, Bogdan Marek, Wanda Fołtyn, Beata Kos-Kudła


Endocrine glands are well vascularized and the structure of their vessels facilitates the exchange of various substances, including hormones. These glands are a frequent experimental model in research on VEGF and angiogenesis. VEGF participates in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is in essence a microvascular disease that develops as a result of a confluence of hemodynamic and metabolic perturbations. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus and is the leading cause of blindness. In diabetic retinopathy ischemic states and hence tissue hypoxia and angiogenesis takes place. Participation of angiogenesis and VEGF in pathogenesis of neoplastic disease is described in many papers. VEGF protein and mRNA were found in cancers of the thyroid, bronchus, lungs, esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, breast, ovary, uterus, kidney, urinary bladder, in malignant tumors of the brain, bone. In a series of reports connections between the degree of VEGF expression with tumor aggressiveness and prognosis in patients have been reported. Richly vascularized are GEP NET. In neuroendocrine tumors strong expression of VEGF, Flt-1 and KDR in relation to the unchanged surrounding tissues has been demonstrated. Depending on the disease entity or the degree of its severity attempts of application the angiogenic and antiangiogenic therapy are being made. Antiangiogenic therapy (usually regarded as a form of cancer therapy) is based on: inhibitory effects of proangiogenic ligands and their receptors; stimulation or delivery of angiogenesis inhibitors; direct destruction of neoplastic tumor vasculature. (Pol J Endocrinol 2011; 62 (education supplement III): 14–22)

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