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Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 15;66(24):11520-39.

Pathophysiologic effects of vascular-targeting agents and the implications for combination with conventional therapies.

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Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.


A functional vascular supply is critical for the continued growth and development of solid tumors. It also plays a major role in metastatic spread of tumor cells. This importance has led to the concept of targeting the vasculature of the tumor as a form of cancer therapy. Two major types of vascular-targeting agent (VTA) have now emerged: those that prevent the angiogenic development of the neovasculature of the tumor and those that specifically damage the already established tumor vascular supply. When used alone neither approach readily leads to tumor control, and so, for VTAs to be most successful in the clinic they will need to be combined with more conventional therapies. However, by affecting the tumor vascular supply, these VTAs should induce pathophysiologic changes in variables, such as blood flow, pH, and oxygenation. Such changes could have negative or positive influences on the tumor response to more conventional therapies. This review aims to discuss the pathophysiologic changes induced by VTAs and the implications of these effects on the potential use of VTAs in combined modality therapy.

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