The scientific rationale to block angiogenesis as a treatment strategy for human cancer has been developed over the last 30 years, but is only now entering the clinical arena. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the importance of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathways in both physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis, and have led to the development of approaches to block its role in tumor angiogenesis. Bevacizumab is an antibody to VEGF and has been shown to prolong survival when given with chemotherapy in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Although this is the first anti-angiogenic treatment to be approved for the treatment of human epithelial malignancy, a number of other approaches currently are in development. Soluble chimeric receptors to sequester serum VEGF and monoclonal antibodies against VEGF receptors have both shown considerable promise in the laboratory and are being brought into clinical investigation. A number of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors that have activity against VEGF receptors also are in clinical trials. Although these novel treatments are being pioneered in CRC, anti-angiogenic approaches also are being tested in the treatment of other gastrointestinal malignancies. Anti-VEGF therapy has shown promise in such traditionally resistant tumors as pancreatic cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. This review will examine the preclinical foundation and then focus on the clinical studies of anti-VEGF therapy in gastrointestinal cancers.
- Anti-VEGF Therapy
- Gastrointestinal Malignancies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research