Vasculogenic mimicry, the process in which cancer cells form angiomatoid structures independent of or in addition to host angiogenesis has been recorded in several otherwise non-endothelial malignant neoplasms. This study describes evidence of routine vascular mimicry by human mesothelioma cell lines in vitro, when the cell lines are cultured alone or co-cultured with human umbilical vascular endothelial cells, with the formation of angiomatoid tubular networks. Vasculogenic mimicry is also supported by immunohistochemical demonstration of human-specific anti-mitochondria antibody labelling of tumour-associated vasculature of human mesothelioma cells xenotransplanted into nude mice, and by evidence of vascular mimicry in some biopsy samples of human malignant mesotheliomas. These studies show mosaic interlacing of cells that co-label or label individually for immunohistochemical markers of endothelial and mesothelial differentiation. If vascular mimicry in mesothelioma can be characterised more fully, this may facilitate identification of more specific and targeted therapeutic approaches such as anti-angiogenesis in combination with chemotherapy and immunotherapy or other therapeutic approaches.
- mesothelial markers
- vasculogenic mimicry