Therapy for cancer: Strategy of combining anti-angiogenic and target therapies

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The concept that blood supply is required and necessary for cancer growth and spreading is intuitive and was firstly formalized by Judah Folkman in 1971, when he demonstrated that cancer cells release molecules able to promote the proliferation of endothelial cells and the formation of new vessels. This seminal result has initiated one of the most fascinating story of the medicine, which is offering a window of opportunity for cancer treatment based on the use of molecules inhibiting tumor angiogenesis and in particular vascular-endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is the master gene in vasculature formation and is the commonest target of anti-angiogenic regimens. However, the clinical results are far from the remarkable successes obtained in pre-clinical models. The reasons of this discrepancy have been partially understood and well addressed in many reviews (Bergers and Hanahan, 2008; Bottsford-Miller et al., 2012; El-Kenawi and El-Remessy, 2013; Wang et al., 2015; Jayson et al., 2016). At present anti-angiogenic regimens are not used as single treatments but associated with standard chemotherapies. Based on emerging knowledge of the biology of VEGF, here we sustain the hypothesis of the efficacy of a dual approach based on targeting pro-angiogenic pathways and other druggable targets such as mutated oncogenes or the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue numberDEC
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2017


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Resistance
  • Target therapy
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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