VEGF inhibitors in cancer therapy.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated angiogenesis is thought to play a critical role in tumor growth and metastasis. Consequently, anti-VEGF therapies are being actively investigated as potential anti-cancer treatments, either as alternatives or adjuncts to conventional chemo or radiation therapy. Among the techniques used to block the VEGF pathway are: 1) neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against VEGF or its receptor, 2) small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors of VEGF receptors, 3) soluble VEGF receptors which act as decoy receptors for VEGF, and 4) ribozymes which specifically target VEGF mRNA. Recent evidence from phase III clinical trials led to the approval of bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, by the FDA as first line therapy in metastatic colorectal carcinoma in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. However, may challenges still remain, and the role of anti-VEGF therapy in the treatment of other solid tumors remains to be elucidated. The aim of this article is to review the progress of clinical investigations involving VEGF inhibitors in the treatment of different types of solid tumors.
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