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Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jul 15;18(14):3750-61. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1275. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Combining antiangiogenics to overcome resistance: rationale and clinical experience.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom.


Antiangiogenic therapies are now well established in oncology clinical practice; however, despite initial optimism, the results of late-phase trials, especially in the adjuvant setting, have largely proved disappointing. In the context of metastatic disease, resistance to antiangiogenic agents arises through a range of mechanisms, including the development of alternative angiogenic pathways. One of the proposed strategies to overcome this resistance is to combine antiangiogenic agents with different mechanisms of action. Early-phase clinical trials assessing the tolerability and efficacy of different combinations of antiangiogenic drugs, including those that target the VEGF pathway or the angiopoietins, as well as vascular disrupting agents, are increasing in number. An example of this strategy is the combination of sorafenib and bevacizumab, which has elicited major responses in different tumor types, including ovarian carcinoma and glioblastoma. However, overlapping and cumulative toxicities pose a real challenge. This review summarizes the preclinical rationale for this approach and current clinical experience in combining antiangiogenic therapies.

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