Palm Oil Developments No.47 (Dec 2007) p10-15

The plumbing system in our body – Angiogenesis and cancer

WONG Weng Yew, SELVADURAY, Kanga Rani , NESARETNAM, Kalanithi

Our vascular system which consists of mainly blood vessels is something comparable to a plumbing system within our body through which blood circulates, transferring various supplies that are essential for the growth of our body as well as ridding it of wastes. Proteins, vitamins, minerals, ions or even waste are transported from one part of the body to the other through this complicated vascular network. Being an important structure, blood vessels are generated whenever necessary. The process that is responsible for generating blood vessels in the body is known as angiogenesis. It is a physiological process involving the formation of new blood vessels from the existing or established vessels found in the body. Angiogenesis is a normal process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing. However, it is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumours from a dormant state to a malignant state as angiogenesis also provides the blood vessels to tumours, feeding them with nutrients for further growth.

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