Pancreatic tumor growth is regulated by the balance between positive and negative modulators of angiogenesis

Gunter Schuch, Oliver Kisker, Anthony Atala, Shay Soker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence for the implication of tumor-derived angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in controlling tumor growth in vivo. In this study, we documented the production of inhibitors of angiogenesis by pancreatic cancer cells and examined how changes in the balance between pro- and anti-angiogenic factors regulate tumor growth in vivo. The human pancreatic cancer cell line Hs-776T (HS-W) produces slow-growing tumors in SCID mice. Cells of a variant form (HS-R) of Hs-776T produced faster-growing tumors compared to HS-W. Characterization of HS-W and HS-R cells in vitro showed similar proliferation rates and production of the angiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Analyzes of anti-angiogenic factors showed comparable levels of angiostatin and thrombospondin 1 and 2, but endostatin was only detected in conditioned media of HS-W cells and was absent in HS-R. Cell proliferation was similar in both tumor types in vivo, whereas HS-W tumors demonstrated increased apoptosis with a high percentage of apoptotic endothelial cells (EC). Subsequently, VEGF was over-expressed in Hs-776T cells (HS-VF), resulting in rapidly growing tumors and lowering tumor and EC apoptosis. Collectively, our study confirms that tumor growth is dependent on its ability to increase the angiogenic stimulus or to reduce the amounts of endogenous anti-angiogenic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Angiostatin
  • Apoptosis
  • BFGF
  • Endostatin
  • Proliferation
  • Thrombospondin
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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