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VEGF Signaling

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VEGF Signaling

BACKGROUND

Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) constitute a sub-family of growth factors that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Vascular endothelial growth factors are important signaling proteins involved in both vasculogenesis (the de novo formation of the embryonic circulatory system) and angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature). VEGF-A is the first member of the vascular endothelial growth factor family, which also include VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and placenta growth factor (PlGF). VEGF-A was called just VEGF before discovery of the other members. Vascular endothelial growth factors are key mediators of angiogenesis that is crucial for development and metastasis of tumors. The importance of VEGFs in tumorigenesis and tumor progression makes them attractive targets for the development of anticancer therapies. Previous studies have implicated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the VEGF gene as predictive and prognostic markers for major solid tumors, including the breast, non-small cell lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

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