Professor Robert Weinberg explains how cancer cells have to learn how to become angiogenic, that is to say attract blood vessels to grow into the tumor mass.
To grow beyond a certain size, tumors need a system to bring in nutrients and take out wastes. The cancer cells that make up a tumor attract blood vessels to grow into the tumor mass. The blood vessels then nourish the tumor just like any organ in the body.
Robert Weinberg, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research:
“Cancer cells have to learn how to become angiogenic, that is to say attract blood vessels to grow into the tumor mass, thereby providing the tumor with nutrients and glucose and oxygen and evacuating metabolic wastes and carbon dioxide.”
In 2000, Douglas Hanahan (shown below) and Robert Weinberg published a paper in Cell, "The Hallmarks of Cancer," which identified some organizing principles of cancer cell development.
“As a cell, you need oxygen to breathe, the same way that the organism does. That dividing nest of cells will in some sense suffocate from lack of nutrients and oxygen and from their own waste unless they have a blood supply. It is now clear that induction and new blood vessel growth – the process of angiogenesis – is critical for almost all cancers, some less than others. Perhaps the leukemias and the blood-borne ones are less angiogenesis-dependent, but it may be that all cancers, in some sense, activate the vascular system to help support it.”
whitehead institute for biomedical research, blood vessel growth, robert weinberg, tumor mass, cancer cells, research cancer, metabolic wastes, cancer cell, angiogenic, vascular system, angiogenesis, leukemias, professor robert, hallmarks, blood supply, new blood, blood vessels, suffocate, nutrients, carbon dioxide
Professor Douglas Hanahan discusses how cancer cells require a source of nutrients and oxygen, which is supplied through new blood vessel growth – the process of angiogenesis, which is critical for almost all cancers.
Professor Robert Weinberg explains how normal cells can only double a certain limited number of times; and cancer cells have to learn how to proliferate indefinitely, i.e, they have to become immortalized.