Jacinta Serpa, group leader from Cancer Metabolism and Microenvironment Lab, published an article in the journal in Cells entitled "Monocytes as Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs), Another Brick in the Wall to Disentangle Tumor Angiogenesis " (full article here).
In brief, Jacinta Serpa talks about this review:
What discoveries led you to the research described in your publication?
We proved in different models that monocytes directly differentiate into endothelial cells, the cells lining the inner surface of the blood vessels. It is not new that monocytes somehow contribute for angiogenesis, but in this paper we demonstrated that monocytes itself originate endothelial cells.
What were you trying to understand and what is the main discovery of this work?
To understand better the way monocytes can contribute for cancer progression and angiogenesis.
Why is this important?
If we know the mechanisms underlying the pivotal phenomena in cancer, it will facilitate the design of new therapies.
What questions remain to be asked?
Many questions are still waiting for an answer....
Can we effectively interfere with the monocytes-endothelial cells differentiation route?
Are the monocytes a major subset of endothelial progenitor cells, in physiology and pathophysiology?
How can the tumor microenvironment regulate this differentiation process?
Find out more about Cancer Metabolism and Microenvironment Lab.