Author(s): Holash J
In contrast with the prevailing view that most tumors and metastases begin as avascular masses, evidence is presented here that a subset of tumors instead initially grows by coopting existing host vessels. This coopted host vasculature does not immediately undergo angiogenesis to support the tumor but instead regresses, leading to a secondarily avascular tumor and massive tumor cell loss. Ultimately, however, the remaining tumor is rescued by robust angiogenesis at the tumor margin. The expression patterns of the angiogenic antagonist angiopoietin-2 and of pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) suggest that these proteins may be critical regulators of this balance between vascular regression and growth.