Effects of Cancer Therapy Targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor on Central Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular System

Antonella Moreo, Paola Vallerio, Riccardo Ricotta, Miriam Stucchi, Mattia Pozzi, Francesco Musca, Paolo Meani, Alessandro Maloberti, Rita Facchetti, Sara Di Bella, Maria Olga Giganti, Andrea Sartore-Bianchi, Salvatore Siena, Giuseppe Mancia, Cristina Giannattasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND In the last 2 decades, new drugs that oppose the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), and thus angiogenesis, have considerably improved treatment of solid tumors. These anti-VEGFR drugs, however, are burdened by several side effects, particularly relevant on heart and vessels. The aim of this study was to analyze the changes in cardiovascular structure and function associated with use of anti-VEGFR drugs. METHODS Twenty-nine patients (27 affected by renal and 2 by thyroid cancer), received treatment with anti-VEGFR drugs. Brachial blood pressure (BP), central BP, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), augmentation index (Aix), and several echocardiographic markers of systolic and diastolic left ventricular functions including global longitudinal strain were measured before starting treatment (T0), after 2 (T1), and 6 weeks (T2) of treatment. RESULTS Anti-VEGFR treatment was accompanied by a significant increase of both peripheral (systolic BP +13±15.5mm Hg, diastolic BP +7.1±9.3mm Hg, P <0.001) and central BP (systolic BP +14±14.2mm Hg, diastolic BP +7.3±10.4mm Hg, P <0.001) and a significant raise of cfPWV (+1.3±1.8 m/sec, P = 0.003). There was also a significant alteration of markers of diastolic and subclinical left ventricular systolic function, including global longitudinal strain (-19.9±3.8% at T0, -17.8±2.6% at T2, P <0.05). All the changes were already evident at T1, worsened at T2 in patients who maintained oncological treatment, but disappeared at T2 in patients in whom treatment was stopped. CONCLUSIONS All the changes regarding BP and cfPWV appear early after treatment initiation and seem to be reversible if treatment is stopped, instead diastolic and systolic left ventricular function are persistently altered by anti-VEGFR drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • arterial stiffness
  • central blood pressure
  • global longitudinal strain
  • hypertension
  • pulse wave velocity
  • vascular endothelial growth factor receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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