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Lack of lymphangiogenesis during breast carcinogenesis
  1. I Van der Auwera,
  2. P Vermeulen,
  3. E Van Marck,
  4. L Dirix
  1. Translational Cancer Research Group (University of Antwerp and General Hospital Sint-Augustinus), Oosterveldlaan 24 Wilrijk, Antwerp 2610, Belgium;

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We read with interest the recent article by Vleugel et al, in which the presence of lymph vessels was investigated during breast cancer progression.1 The authors claim that the observed absence of intratumorous lymph vessels in invasive breast cancer can be explained by the absence of lymphangiogenesis. In our opinion, this is a rather bold conclusion because only lymph vessel density was assessed and not lymph endothelial cell proliferation. By analogy with angiogenesis, the mere presence of a number of vessels at a certain time point—for example, at surgery—provides no information concerning the degree of ongoing angiogenesis.2 Lymph vessel density is the net result of lymphangiogenesis …

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