Explain why having high local levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can help tumors grow in cell number.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a growth factor that promotes angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. High local levels of VEGF can help tumors grow in cell number because they stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that supply the tumor with oxygen and nutrients, allowing it to grow and spread. Additionally, the newly formed blood vessels in the tumor microenvironment can also facilitate the transport of cancer cells to distant sites in the body, promoting the development of metastases. Therefore, high levels of VEGF play a crucial role in tumor growth and progression.
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