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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 418290, 8 pages
Review Article

Tumor-Induced Local and Systemic Impact on Blood Vessel Function

1Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Science for Life Laboratory, Biomedical Center, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 582, 75123 Uppsala, Sweden
2Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Science for Life Laboratory, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 4 September 2015; Accepted 25 November 2015

Academic Editor: Mathieu-Benoit Voisin

Copyright © 2015 J. Cedervall 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.


Endothelial dysfunction plays a role in several processes that contribute to cancer-associated mortality. The vessel wall serves as a barrier for metastatic tumor cells, and the integrity and activation status of the endothelium serves as an important defense mechanism against metastasis. In addition, leukocytes, such as cytotoxic T-cells, have to travel across the vessel wall to enter the tumor tissue where they contribute to killing of cancer cells. Tumor cells can alter the characteristics of the endothelium by recruitment of leukocytes such as neutrophils and macrophages, which further stimulate inflammation and promote tumorigenesis. Recent findings also suggest that leukocyte-mediated effects on vascular function are not limited to the primary tumor or tissues that represent metastatic sites. Peripheral organs, such as kidney and heart, also display impaired vascular function in tumor-bearing individuals, potentially contributing to organ failure. Here, we discuss how vascular function is altered in malignant tissue and distant organs in individuals with cancer and how leukocytes function as potent mediators of these tumor-induced effects.