The anti-VEGF are some of the new biological treatments for cancer. They act on targets located on the cell membrane itself. Their aim: to destroy neovasulature which vascularises tumour cells and therefore to prevent tumour growth and survival.
How do the anti-VEGF work
VEGF (for Vascular Endothelium Growth Factor) appears to be the main regulator of neoangiogenesis. This is the growth of new blood vessels from existing capillaries. It acts on all cells. As a tumour needs new blood vessels to develop, however, angiogenesis is also a process which can support tumour growth. For this reason, specialists prefer to refer to tumour angiogenesis inhibitors. Tumour angiogenesis inhibitors therefore block the growth factors (VEGF and its seven subtypes) which support the formation of new blood vessels. How do they work? They work by inhibiting the binding between VEGF receptors located on the cell membrane and the growth factor itself.
Do they have contraindications or precautions?
The anti-VEGF which are currently available are monoclonal antibodies or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The most commonly reported side effects are hypertension, proteinuria and even thrombo-embolic events. Skin irritation can also occur
- 47th congress of theAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco), Chicago, 3-7 June 2011 ;
- Merck Manual, 4th edition ;
- Interview with Dr Pierre-Jean Souquet (Lyon), 6 June 2011.
The anti-VEGFs are intended to inhibit angiogenesis to treat cancers. © Phovoir