In animal models, growth of tumors and their metastases is dependent on factors that stimulate vessel formation (angiogenesis). Most clinical studies confirm the importance of angiogenesis for cancer growth in patients. Recent studies on circulating angiogenic factors in patients have focused on serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in a variety of cancer types. We measured serum VEGF concentrations and blood counts in 27 breast cancer patients during each of 6 cycles of chemotherapy with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide supported by granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Serum VEGF concentrations highly correlated with platelet counts during chemotherapy (r = 0.8; P < 0.01). In particular, during the first treatment cycle, after an initial episode of thrombocytopenia, a strong platelet rebound coincided closely with a serum VEGF peak (r = 0.9; P < 0.01). In addition, plasma VEGF concentrations from 15 other cancer patients and 30 healthy volunteers were 5-

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