Glioblastomas are aggressive brain cancers that are nourished by an extensive network of blood vessels. Two groups now show that glioblastoma cells can differentiate into functional endothelial cells as part of the tumour vasculature. These endothelial cells are characterized by the same genetic alterations as the glioblastoma cells and seem to be derived from glioblastoma stem-like cells. This work suggests that some putative cancer stem cells promote cancer growth both directly and indirectly, and may explain the failure of certain anti-angiogenic cancer drugs and aid the design of new therapies.
- (News & Views p770, doi: 10.1038/468770a)
- Tumour vascularization via endothelial differentiation of glioblastoma stem-like cells (Letter p824, doi: 10.1038/nature09557)
- Glioblastoma stem-like cells give rise to tumour endothelium (Letter p829, doi: 10.1038/nature09624)
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