Angiogenesis: blood vessel+origin. The formation of blood vessels.
Angiogenesis in cancer occurs after a rogue cell divides. In order to metastasize (spread and grow) it must move to other sites and needs nourishment from blood cells for growth. The cancer cells secrete enzymes that break down tissues and eventually secrete factors or stimulate other cells to stimulate materials that allow new blood vessels to form to keep the cancer cells nourished. In some cases these blood vessels provide a path for metastasis.
Antiangiogenesis :opposed to or against angiogenesis.
Antiangiogenesis or anti-angiogenesis is a type of therapy that uses pharmacology or other substances to stop cancer cells from creating new blood vessels.
These antiangiogenesis drugs don’t target the cancer tumor; their focus is the blood vessels that nourish the cancer tumors. Most researchers and physicians agree that antiangiogenic drugs should be used with traditional therapies for the most effective total therapy. The American Cancer Society provides a thorough discussion of antiangiogenesis therapy on their site.
Avastin, (Bevacizumab) a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was approved by the FDA in 2004 and is currently used with chemotherapy to treat previously untreatable metastatic colorectal cancer.
Additionally clinical trials are in progress utilizing Avastin which works on the outside of the cancer cell inhibiting blood cell proliferation with another drug which works on the inside of the tumor cells inhibiting tumor growth. The drug Vandetanib, Zactima, (ZD6474) is in clinical trials stage. The National Cancer Institute provides information on active clinical trials.
Nexavar, (Sorafenib) is a small molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has antiangiogenesis properties. Not only does it inhibit the enzymes that tell the cancer cells to grow, but it can inhibit blood cell growth to prevent nourishment of the cancer cells. Nexavar is used to treat liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer.
Sutent (sunitinib) is a multi kinase inhibitor which also prevents the signaling of cancer cell growth and blood cell growth. It is used to treat advanced kidney cancer and a rare type of stomach and small intestine cancer that is inoperable. More information on Sutent is available on the National Cancer Institute site.
Headline News on Antiangiogenesis:
ScienceDaily, March 4, 2008. Recurrent Brain Cancer Responds to New Treatment. “Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has an important biologic role in this disease in fostering tumor growth by facilitating the growth of new blood vessels to feed the tumor. According to earlier studies, bevacizumab (BV), a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically targets VEGF, in combination with irinotecan (also called CPT-11) could have a role in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. The researchers set out to determine the clinical benefit of BV, both alone and in combination with CPT-11, in a multicenter, randomized phase II trial.”
ScienceDaily, January 1, 2008. Taxol with Avastin Greatly Slowed Breast Cancer Growth, Study Shows. “The study with Avastin showed the biggest improvement in metastatic breast cancer ever reported in a chemotherapy-based clinical trial. It nearly doubled the time between initiation of chemotherapy for metastatic disease and progression of the breast cancer tumors. “