Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) binds VEGF-C and VEGF-D and is essential for the development of the lymphatic vasculature. Experimental tumors that overexpress VEGFR-3 ligands induce lymphatic vessel sprouting and enlargement and show enhanced metastasis to regional lymph nodes and beyond, whereas a soluble form of VEGFR-3 that blocks receptor signaling inhibits these changes and metastasis. Because VEGFR-3 is also essential for the early blood vessel development in embryos and is up-regulated in tumor angiogenesis, we wanted to determine if an antibody targeting the receptor that interferes with VEGFR-3 ligand binding can inhibit primary tumor growth. Our results show that antibody interference with VEGFR-3 function can inhibit the growth of several human tumor xenografts in immunocompromised mice. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the blood vessel density of anti-VEGFR-3-treated tumors was significantly decreased and hypoxic and necrotic tumor tissue wa

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