Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels.
This is distinct from vasculogenesis, which is the de novo formation of endothelial cells from mesoderm cell precursors. The first vessels in the developing embryo form through vasculogenesis, after which angiogenesis is responsible for most, if not all, blood vessel growth during development and in disease.
Angiogenesis is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing and in the formation of granulation tissue. However, it is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a benign state to a malignant one, leading to the use of angiogenesis inhibitors in the treatment of cancer.