- Paper Report
- Open Access
Tamoxifen and angiogenesis
- Valerie Speirs1
© Biomed Central Ltd 2001
- Received: 17 May 2001
- Accepted: 20 August 2001
- Published: 1 December 2001
- Angiogenesis, microvessel density, tamoxifen
Angiogenesis, the development of a new blood supply from pre-existing vasculature, is essential for tumour growth beyond a few millimeters in diameter. Experimental evidence suggests that tamoxifen, a drug commonly used in breast cancer therapy, may possess anti-angiogenic properties as well as its antiestrogenic action. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of tamoxifen on breast tumour vascularity in patients who received adjuvant tamoxifen for 3-6 months prior to surgery.
A total of 75% of patients responded to tamoxifen, with tumour volume reduced up to 64%. Prior to treatment with tamoxifen there was no difference between microvessel counts (MVCs) in the responding and nonresponding tumours. MVCs were significantly reduced in tumours that responded to tamoxifen, and increased in the nonresponding cohort. Thus tamoxifen-responsive tumours show a significant reduction in tumour angiogenesis.
Immunohistochemistry, microvessel counts, ultrasound
Adams J, Carder PJ, Downey S, Forbes MA, MacLennan K, Allgar V, Kaufman S, Hallam S, Bicknell R, Walker JJ, Cairnduff F, Selby PJ, Perren TJ, Lansdown M, Banks RE: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in breast cancer: comparison of plasma, serum and tissue VEGF and microvessel density and effects of tamoxifen. Cancer Res 2000, 60:2898-2905 (PubMed abstract).