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BACKGROUND Microscopic human cancers can remain dormant for life. Tumor progression depends on sequential events, including a switch to the angiogenic phenotype, i.e., initial recruitment of new vessels. We previously demonstrated that human tumors contain tumor cell populations that are heterogeneous in angiogenic activity. Here, we separated angiogenic(More)
Clinical trials with antiangiogenic agents have not been able to validate plasma or serum levels of angiogenesis regulators as reliable markers of cancer presence or therapeutic response. We recently reported that platelets contain numerous proteins that regulate angiogenesis. We now show that accumulation of angiogenesis regulators in platelets of animals(More)
Tumor dormancy has important implications for early detection and treatment of cancer. Lack of experimental models and limited clinical accessibility constitute major obstacles to the molecular characterization of dormant tumors. We have developed models in which human tumors remain dormant for a prolonged period of time (>120 days) until they switch to(More)
Evidence suggests that dormant, microscopic tumors are not only common, but are highly prevalent in otherwise healthy individuals. Due to their small size and non-invasive nature, these dormant tumors remain asymptomatic and, in most cases, undetected. With advances in diagnostic imaging and molecular biology, it is now becoming clear that such neoplasms(More)
Early tumor detection and intervention are important determinants of survival in patients with cancer. We have recently reported that the "platelet angiogenesis proteome" may be used to detect microscopic tumors in mice. We now present evidence that changes in platelet-associated platelet factor-4 (PF-4) detect malignant growth across a spectrum of human(More)
Tumor dormancy is a highly prevalent stage in cancer progression. We have previously generated and characterized in vivo experimental models of human tumor dormancy in which micro-tumors remain occult until they spontaneously shift into rapid tumor growth. We showed that the dormant micro-tumors undergo a stable microRNA (miRNA) switch during their(More)
Dendritic cells (DCs)--immunomodulatory cells that initiate adaptive immune responses--have recently been shown to exert proangiogenic effects when infiltrating the tumor microenvironment. As tumors that escape immune surveillance inhibit DC maturation, we explored whether maturation status determines their ability to promote angiogenesis and whether(More)
Although dormant tumors are highly prevalent within the human population, the underlying mechanisms are still mostly unknown. We have previously identified the consensus gene expression pattern of dormant tumors. Here, we show that this gene expression signature could be used for the isolation and identification of clones which generate dormant tumors. We(More)
Although escape from tumor dormancy has long been recognized as an important problem in the treatment of cancer, the molecular and cellular regulators underlying this transition remain poorly understood. The inability of the cancer cells to induce a complete and successful process of angiogenesis can result in tumor dormancy. In this case, the acquisition(More)
Tumor dormancy refers to a critical stage in cancer development in which tumor cells remain occult for a prolonged period of time until they eventually progress and become clinically apparent. We previously showed that the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth is angiogenesis dependent and requires a stable transcriptional reprogramming in tumor cells.(More)