Drug inhibition of angiogenesis.
Madhusudan S., Harris AL.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world. Though advances in cancer therapy and diagnosis have considerably improved life expectancy, the overall survival rate of patients still remains poor - disseminated cancer at presentation and acquisition of tumour resistance are two reasons for this. Angiogenesis is one of the crucial steps in the pathogenesis of tumours. Drug inhibition of angiogenesis is an area of intense research and at least 10000 cancer patients worldwide have received some form of experimental antiangiogenic therapy. More than 300 angiogenesis inhibitors have been discovered to date; 80 antiangiogenic drugs are currently in clinical trials, 12 of which target the key angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor. A convincing regression of tumours has been reported for drugs against this target. Antiangiogenic therapy has raised the hopes both of cancer sufferers and of the physicians looking after them. A concerted international effort by cancer researchers and the pharmaceutical industry will help to further develop this novel treatment strategy for cancer.