Eva Andreuzzi 1 , Alessandra Capuano 1 , Rosanna Pellicani 1 , Evelina Poletto 1 , Roberto Doliana 1 , Stefania Maiero 2 , Mara Fornasarig 2 , Raffaella Magris 2 , Alfonso Colombatti 1 , Renato Cannizzaro 2 , Paola Spessotto 1 , Maurizio Mongiat 1 , *
11 December 2018
Gastric cancer is a deadly tumor and a relatively common disease worldwide. Surgical resection and chemotherapy are the main clinical options to treat this type of disease, however the median overall survival rate is limited to one year. Thus, the development of new therapies is a highly necessary clinical need. Angiogenesis is a promising target for this tumor type, however clinical trials with the use of anti-angiogenic drugs have so far not met expectations. Therefore, it is important to better characterize the expression of molecules whose expression levels may impact on the efficacy of the treatments. In this study the characteristics of the gastric tumor associated blood vessels were first assessed by endomicroscopy. Next, we analyzed the expression of Multimerin-2, EMILIN-2 and EMILIN-1, three molecules of the EMI Domain ENdowed (EDEN) protein family. These molecules play important functions in the tumor microenvironment, affecting cancer progression both directly and indirectly impinging on angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. All the molecules were highly expressed in the normal mucosa whereas in a number of patients their expression was altered. We consider that better characterizing the gastric tumor microenvironment and the quality of the vasculature may achieve effective patient tailored therapies.