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Targeting the tumour vascalature

Angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels from an existing vasculature, is essential in normal developmental processes and in numerous pathologies, including diabetic retinopathy, psoriasis and tumour growth and metastases. One of the problems faced by angiogenesis researchers has been the difficulty of finding suitable methods for assessing the effects of regulators of the angiogenic response. The ideal assay would be reliable, technically straightforward, easily quantifiable and, most importantly, physiologically relevant. Here, we review the advantages and limitations of the principal assays in use, including those for the proliferation, migration and differentiation of endothelial cells in vitro, vessel outgrowth from organ cultures and in vivo assays such as sponge implantation, corneal, chamber, zebrafish, chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and tumour angiogenesis models.Keywords: angiogenesis, endothelial, migration, proliferation, tubule, xenograft