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Development of human antibodies to human vascular endothelial growth factor -C (VEGF-C) and -D (VEGF-D)
Recent studies have suggested a link between the growth of cysts found in the lungs of patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D. The cysts found in LAM patients are lined with cells that are of lymph origin which express and respond to VEGF-C and VEGF-D, which act as primary lymphangiogenic growth factors. Further, LAM patients have dramatically elevated serum levels of VEGF-D, up to one hundred times those of healthy women. Elevated levels of VEGFD in combination with lung cysts are diagnostic for LAM. Inhibiting the actions of VEGF-C and/or VEGF-D, using antibodies, are a potential therapeutic treatment for LAM.