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J Oncol. 2010;2010:317068. doi: 10.1155/2010/317068. Epub 2010 May 13.

Tgf-Beta superfamily receptors-targets for antiangiogenic therapy?

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  • 1Sections of Pneumonology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Department of Oncology and Hematology, Hubertus Wald University Cancer Center, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.


The TGF-beta pathway controls a broad range of cellular behavior including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of various cell types including tumor cells, endothelial cells, immune cells, and fibroblasts. Besides TGF-beta's direct effects on tumor growth and its involvement in neoangiogenesis have received recent attention. Germline mutations in TGF-beta receptors or coreceptors causing Hereditary Hemorrhagic Teleangiectasia and the Loeys-Dietz syndrome underline the involvement of TGF-beta in vessel formation and maturation. Several therapeutic approaches are evaluated at present targeting the TGF-beta pathway including utilization of antisense oligonucleotides against TGF-beta itself or antibodies or small molecule inhibitors of TGF-beta receptors. Some of these therapeutic agents have already entered the clinical arena including an antibody against the endothelium specific TGF-beta class I receptor ALK-1 targeting tumor vasculature. In conclusion, therapeutic manipulation of the TGF-beta pathway opens great opportunities in future cancer therapy.

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