Making new blood vessels

Cancer_hallmark_angio

Growing from a tiny hamlet to a massive town needs infrastructure.   As the houses grow, the roads must be planned to avoid bottle necks.  Land must be set aside for shops and amenities.  Cancer cells must learn to force the body to provide new blood vessels (arteries and veins) as roads to bring in food and oxygen.  Without this, the tumour would be starved and could not grow to become a problem.  This process of growing new blood vessels is called angiogenesis.

Cancer_hallmark_house
A single cell is easy to supply with food and oxygen.
Cancer_hallmark_street
As the tumour grows, more demands are made of a limited supply network.
Cancer_hallmark_slum
Eventually, there are so many cells that the blood supply cannot cope.
Cancer_hallmark_town
New blood vessels can be grown to supply the growing tumour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing when to ask for new blood vessels and when not to is an important teamwork skill amongst cells.  Asking for new blood vessels when you've gone wrong is a sign that another teamwork chapter has been lost.