Lymphangiogenesis (growth and formation of new lymphatic vessels) occurs in both normal developing tissues and in pathological processes like inflammation, wound healing, lymphoedema, and most importantly in cancer lymphatic spread. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in lymphangiogenesis due to the discovery of molecular markers including; podoplanin, prox-1, and LYVE-1 that are specific to the lymphatic endothelium. Although the molecular mechanisms of lymphan-giogenesis are still not very clear, it is through that the production of growth factors like the vascular endothelial growth factors - C and D (VEGF-C and VEGF-D) within tumours could induce the endothelial cells within tumour tissues to grow and generate new lymphatics that could establish a connection to the peri-tumoral lymphatics and eventually tumours cells could metastasise to the regional lymph nodes.
Formation of lymphatic vessels occurs early during fetal development by sprouting of endothelial cells. There are two main theories behind
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