Anti-VEGF agents in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC): are they all alike?
Muhammad Wasif Saif
GI Oncology Program, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
Abstract: Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds and neutralizes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, a key player in the angiogenesis pathway. Despite benefits of bevacizumab in cancer therapy, it is clear that the VEGF pathway is complex, involving multiple isoforms, receptors, and alternative ligands such as VEGF-B, and placental growth factor, which could enable escape from VEGF-A-targeted angiogenesis inhibition. Recently developed therapies have targeted other ligands in the VEGF pathway (eg, aflibercept, known as ziv-aflibercept in the United States), VEGF receptors (eg, ramucirumab), and their tyrosine kinase signaling (ie, tyrosine kinase inhibitors). The goal of the current review was to identify comparative preclinical data for the currently available VEGF-targeted therapies. Sources were compiled using PubMed searches (2007 to 2012), using search terms including, but not limited to: “bevacizumab,” “aflibercept,” “ramucirumab,” and “IMC-18F1.” Two preclinical studies were identified that compared bevacizumab and the newer agent, aflibercept. These studies identified some important differences in binding and pharmacodynamic activity, although the potential clinical relevance of these findings is not known. Newer antiangiogenesis therapies should help further expand treatment options for colorectal and other cancers. Comparative preclinical data on these agents is currently lacking.
Keywords: aflibercept, antiangiogenesis, metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
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