Table of Contents

This article has been retracted as it was submitted for publication without the knowledge and approval of the co-authors Maxine Emmett and Rowan Pritchard Jones.

ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 546927, 7 pages
Review Article

The Roles of Angiogenesis in Malignant Melanoma: Trends in Basic Science Research over the Last 100 Years

1Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, Mersey Academic Plastic Surgery Group, Liverpool Cancer Research UK Centre, The Duncan Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK
2Department of Plastic Surgery, Whiston Hospital, Warrington Road, Prescott, Merseyside L35 5DR, UK

Received 30 March 2012; Accepted 28 April 2012

Academic Editors: N. Fujimoto, P. Karakitsos, and L. Saragoni

Copyright © 2012 D. Dewing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blood vessels arose during evolution carrying oxygen and nutrients to distant organs via complex networks of blood vessels penetrating organs and tissues. Mammalian cells require oxygen and nutrients for survival, of which oxygen has a diffusion limit of 100 to 200 μm between cell and blood vessel. For growth beyond this margin, cells must recruit new blood vessels, first by vasculogenesis, where embryonic vessels form from endothelial precursors, then angiogenesis which is the sprouting of interstitial tissue columns into the lumen of preexisting blood vessels. Angiogenesis occurs in many inflammatory diseases and in many malignant disease states, including over 90% of solid tumours. Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most lethal skin cancer, highly angiogenic, highly metastatic, and refractory to all treatments. Raised serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) strongly correlate MM disease progression and poor prognosis. Melanoma cells secrete several proangiogenic cytokines including VEGF-A, fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), platelet growth factor (PGF-1), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and transforming growth factor (TGF-1) that modulate the angiogenic switch, changing expression levels during tumour transition from radial to invasive vertical and then metastatic growth. We highlight modern and historical lines of research and development that are driving this exciting area of research currently.