The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Neutrophils, Angiogenesis, and Cancer

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from already existing vasculature, is tightly regulated by pro- and anti-angiogenic stimuli and occurs under both physiological and pathological conditions. Tumor angiogenesis is central for tumor development, and an "angiogenic switch" could be initiated by multiple immune cells, such as neutrophils. Tumor-associated neutrophils promote tumor angiogenesis by the release of both conventional and non-conventional pro-angiogenic factors. Therefore, neutrophil-mediated tumor angiogenesis should be taken into consideration in the design of novel anti-cancer therapy. This review recapitulates the complex role of neutrophils in tumor angiogenesis and summarizes neutrophil-derived pro-angiogenic factors and mechanisms regulating angiogenic activity of tumor-associated neutrophils. Moreover, it provides up-to-date information about neutrophil-targeting therapy, complementary to anti-angiogenic treatment.


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