Angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel formation, is crucial for malignant tumour growth and metastases; therefore, it has become an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Theoretically applicable to most solid tumours, this therapy may be advantageous over existing cytotoxic therapy, since it is directed at genetically stable endothelium growing within tumours rather than at malignant cells, which acquire resistance to treatment. Many promising angiogenesis inhibitors have been developed, although their activity has yet to be demonstrated in human clinical trials. To improve therapeutic benefit, this may require further insight into tumour angiogenesis, development of appropriate surrogate markers of activity, treatment of early stage neoplastic disease and probably a combination of different classes of antiangiogenesis agents to overcome redundant mechanisms of angiogenesis control.
- Antiangiogenic therapy
- Tumour angiogenesis
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)