Heterogeneity of vascular endothelial cells, de novo arteriogenesis and therapeutic implications in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Academic Article


  • Arteriogenesis supplies oxygen and nutrients in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which may play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are the second most common pancreatic malignancy and are frequently metastatic on presentation. Nearly a third of pNETs secrete bioactive substances causing debilitating symptoms. Current treatment options for metastatic pNETs are limited. Importantly, these tumors are highly vascularized and heterogeneous neoplasms, in which the heterogeneity of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and de novo arteriogenesis may be critical for their progression. Current anti-angiogenetic targeted treatments have not shown substantial clinical benefits, and they are poorly tolerated. This review article describes EC heterogeneity and heterogeneous tumor-associated ECs (TAECs) in the TME and emphasizes the concept of de novo arteriogenesis in the TME. The authors also emphasize the challenges of current antiangiogenic therapy in pNETs and discuss the potential of tumor arteriogenesis as a novel therapeutic target. Finally, the authors prospect the clinical potential of targeting the FoxO1-CD36-Notch pathway that is associated with both pNET progression and arteriogenesis and provide insights into the clinical implications of targeting plasticity of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and vascular niche, particularly the arteriolar niche within the TME in pNETs, which will also provide insights into other types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and malignant melanoma.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 7660210
  • Author List

  • Ren B; Bart Rose J; Liu Y; Jaskular-Sztul R; Contreras C; Beck A; Chen H
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 11