Background. The growth of solid tumors and the formation of metastases depend on angiogenesis. Both tumor cells and host cells secrete a variety of factors to stimulate angiogenesis. Methods. We investigated the expression of angiogenic factors in gastric cancer in vitro and in vivo. Results. The expression of one of the angiogenic factors, vascular endothelial growth factor antigen, in gastric cancer cells can thus serve as a pertinent predictive factor for hematogenous invasion or metastasis, in addition to having prognostic value. The presence of micrometastasis in bone marrow was closely related to vascular endothelial growth factor positivity and microvessel density in the primary gastric cancer. In in vivo experiments antiangiogenic agents with cytotoxic anticancer drugs formed a highly effective modulator combination for the treatment of the Lewis lung carcinoma against primary and metastatic disease. Conclusions. Antiangiogenic agents may thus be valuable for long-term administration to maintain tumor dormancy because drug resistance does not develop, and these agents have a sustained effect. As a target, antiangiogenic therapy may therefore be potentially able to prolong survival time of patients with gastric cancer.
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