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Am J Med. 2009 Apr;122(4):322-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.11.025.

Renal effects of anti-angiogenesis therapy: update for the internist.

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Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8029, USA.


Angiogenesis has become an innovative target in cancer therapy. Agents that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the most potent promoters of angiogenesis, and its receptor have significant implications for clinical practice. Bevacizumab, sorafenib, sunitinib and other anti-VEGF drugs are frequently complicated by mild proteinuria and hypertension. Other unique renal effects, such as high-grade proteinuria and acute kidney injury, have been described. The most common histopathologic kidney lesion is thrombotic microangiopathy, with other glomerular lesions and interstitial nephritis occurring less frequently. The mechanism for anti-VEGF therapy-induced hypertension is not well understood; however, nitric oxide pathway inhibition, rarefaction, and oxidative stress may be important in its pathogenesis. Glomerular injury may develop from loss of VEGF effect on maintaining the filtration barrier. Adverse effects of anti-VEGF class of drugs are manageable but require close attention and follow-up. Understanding the fundamentals of anti-VEGF drugs' mechanism of action and their clinical implications is crucial when caring for patients receiving anti-VEGF therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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