Breast cancers are the most common tumors in women, and the main cause of death of patients is due to tumor growth and metastasis. The tumor growth requires the formation of new blood vessels that are stimulated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), expressed under the control of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1 alpha). Thus, VEGF, its receptors and molecules involved in angiogenesis are the main targets of new therapeutic agents. Some studies have shown that administration of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, has antitumor effects, and can reduce angiogenesis mediated by HIF-1 alpha and VEGF in certain tumor types, but this relationship has not been described for breast cancer. The objective of this work is to verify the expression HIF-1 alpha and VEGF in cell lines of breast cancer in response to hypoxia induction and treatment with melatonin. The results of this study may provide evidences to the use of melatonin as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of breast cancer.
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