Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly vascular tumor characterized by rapid and invasive tumor growth, followed by oxygen depletion, hypoxia and neovascularization, which generate a network of disorganized, tortuous and permeable vessels. Recruitment of bone marrow derived cells (BMDC) is crucial for vasculogenesis. These cells may act as vascular progenitors by integrating into the newly formed blood vessels or as vascular modulators by releasing pro-angiogenic factors. In patients with recurrent GBM, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy has been evaluated in combination with chemotherapy, yielding improvements in progression-free survival (PFS). However, benefits are temporary as vascular tumors acquire angiogenic pathways independently of VEGF. Specifically, acute hypoxia following prolonged VEGF depletion induces the recruitment of certain myeloid cell subpopulations, which highly contribute to treatment refractoriness. Here we review the molecular mechanisms of neovascularization in relation to bevacizumab therapy with special emphasis on the recruitment of BMDCs and possible combination therapies for GBM patients.
- Bone marrow derived cells