Author(s): A Vacca, D Ribatti
Angiogenesis is a constant hallmark of multiple myeloma (MM) progression and has prognostic potential. It is induced by plasma cells via angiogenic factors with the transition from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to MM, and probably with loss of angiostatic activity on the part of MGUS. The pathophysiology of MM-induced angiogenesis is complex and involves both direct production of angiogenic cytokines by plasma cells and their induction within the microenvironment. The latter are secreted by stromal cells, endothelial cells (EC) and osteoclasts, and promote plasma cell growth, survival and migration, as well as paracrine cytokine secretion and angiogenesis in the bone marrow milieu. Angiogenesis is also supported by inflammatory cells following their recruitment and activation by plasma cells. Finally, circulating EC and endothelial precursor cells (EPC) contribute to the neovascularization, and the presence of EPC suggests that vasculogenesis (new vessel formation from EPC) may also contribute to the full MM vascular tree.