The embryonic-like properties of aggressive human tumor cells

Anil K. Sood*, Mavis S. Fletcher, Mary J.C. Hendrix

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


During embryogenesis, the formation and remodeling of primary vascular networks occur by vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Recently, the term "vasculogenic mimicry" was introduced by our laboratory and collaborators to reflect the embryonic-like ability of aggressive, but not nonaggressive, tumor cells to form a pattern of vasculogenic-like networks in three-dimensional culture, with concomitant expression of vascular-associated cell markers. We reviewed research on the ability of invasive ovarian carcinoma cells to engage in molecular vasculogenic mimicry reflected by their plasticity. In addition, we reviewed in vivo evidence regarding the presence of tumor cell-lined vasculature in aggressive ovarian carcinoma and other cancers, which may serve as the correlate to in vitro vasculogenic mimicry. These results may offer new insights and molecular markers for consideration in ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment strategies based on molecular vascular mimicry by aggressive tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2002


  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Vasculogenic mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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