Anti-angiogenesis therapies: their potential in cancer management
Andrew Eichholz, Shairoz Merchant, Andrew M Gaya
Department of Clinical Oncology, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
Abstract: Angiogenesis plays an important role in normal animal growth and development. This process is also vital for the growth of tumors. Angiogenesis inhibitors have a different mechanism of action to traditional chemotherapy agents and radiation therapy. The angiogenesis inhibitors can act synergistically with conventional treatments and tend to have non-overlapping toxicities. There are four drugs which have a proven role in treating cancer patients. Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to and neutralizes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Sunitinib and sorafenib inhibit multiple tyrosine kinase receptors that are important for angiogenesis. Thalidomide inhibits the activity of basic fibroblast growth factor-2 (bFGF). The licensed indications and the supporting evidence are discussed. Other drugs are currently being tested in clinical trials and the most promising of these drugs are discussed. Aflibercept, also known as VEGF-trap, is a recombinant fusion protein that binds to circulating VEGF. The vascular disrupting agents act by targeting established blood vessels. These exciting new treatments have the potential to transform the management of cancer.
Keywords: angiogenesis, bevacizumab, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, thalidomide, aflibercept, vascular disrupting agents
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