Courtesy of Elsevier
 DEADLY SPREAD: A: an insulinoma (Ins) in a Rip1Tag2 transgenic mouse. LYVE-1 immunohistochemistry demonstrates the presence of lymphatic vessels in connective tissue, but not near islets of Langerhans. B: Rip1Tag2 mice were crossed with mice which overexpress VEGF-C in pancreatic b-cells. C: An insulinoma cell breaks through a lymphatic vessel. D: An intralymphatic tumor cell mass forms. E: In a lymph node, lymphocytes (L) are surrounded by tumor cells (T). F: Immunoflorescent antibody staining for insulin shows insulinoma as well as the intra-nodal tumor cells around core lymphocytes. (Parts B, D, and E reproduced with permission from Oxford University Press, Mandriota et al., EMBO J, 20:672-82 2001)

For years, scientists largely ignored the lymphatic system, instead focusing on blood vessels and their growth process, called angiogenesis. Only since the mid-1990s has knowledge started to accumulate about the lymphatic system, the network of thin-walled capillaries that collect and...

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