It has been shown in many clinical studies that the level of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) positively correlates with lymph node metastasis. Nevertheless, beyond the canonical role of VEGF-C in stimulating lymphangiogenesis and thus promoting lymph node/distant metastasis, emerging evidence indicates that expression of VEGF-C contributes to various aspects of carcinogenicity via autocrine regulation. The newly identified functions of VEGF-C include but are not limited to proliferation, migration, invasion, and chemo-resistance. Besides tumor cell autocrine regulation, VEGF-C can also modulate the immune system such that tumor cells more easily escape immune surveillance. Therefore, understanding the functional roles and regulatory mechanisms related to the VEGF-C axis may lead to alternative strategies for cancer treatment. This mini-review will focus on summarizing recent discoveries regarding the unconventional functions of VEGF-C in cancer progression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)