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Pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension: lessons from cancer

Author(s): Christophe Guignabert | Ly Tu | Morane Le Hiress | Nicolas Ricard | Caroline Sattler | Andrei Seferian | Alice Huertas | Marc Humbert | David Montani

Journal: European Respiratory Review
ISSN 0905-9180

Volume: 22;
Issue: 130;
Start page: 543;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Although the causal pathomechanisms contributing to remodelling of the pulmonary vascular bed in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are still unclear, several analogous features with carcinogenesis have led to the emergence of the cancer-like concept. The major similarities concern the altered crosstalk between cells from different tissue types, unexplained proliferation and survival of pulmonary smooth muscle and endothelial cells, the metabolic (glycolytic) shifts, and the association with the immune system. However, major differences between PAH and cancer exist, including the absence of invasion and metastasis, as well as the pathogenic genes involved and the degrees of angiogenesis impairment and genetic instability. It is clear that PAH is not a cancer, but this cancer-like concept has opened a new field of investigation and raises the possibility that antiproliferative and/or oncological drugs may exert therapeutic effects not only in cancer, but also in PAH. Such analogies and differences are discussed here.
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