- Growth and progression of breast cancers are accompanied by increased neovascularization (angiogenesis). A variety of factors, including hypoxia and genetic changes in the tumor cells, contribute to increased production of angiogenic factors. Furthermore, cells within the activated tumor stroma also contribute to the increase in production of vascular endothelial growth factor and other angiogenic factors, including basic fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor. The contribution of the microenvironment to tumor-induced angiogenesis is underscored by findings that breast tumors implanted into different tissue sites show marked differences in the extent and nature of the angiogenic response. These findings have important implications for designing anti-angiogenic therapies.