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Like normal tissues, tumors require nutrients and oxygen and also need to evacuate metabolic wastes and carbon dioxide. This is accomplished by tumor-associated neovasculature. Evidence indicates that the angiogenic switch is governed by countervailing factors that either induce or oppose angiogenesis. Some of these angiogenic regulators are signaling proteins that bind to stimulatory or inhibitory cell-surface receptors displayed by vascular endothelial cells. The well-known prototypes of angiogenesis inducers and inhibitors are vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), respectively. (Adapted from Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation, Hanahan and Weinberg, Cell 2011)

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