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Int J Cancer. 2012 Sep 15;131(6):1249-59. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27576. Epub 2012 May 29.

Cardiovascular medications in angiogenesis--how to avoid the sting in the tail.

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Research Group Surgical Oncology, Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Max Delbrueck Center and Charité Campus Buch, Berlin, Germany.


Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death worldwide. Cardiovascular medications have recently been found to have favorable effects also for the treatment of noncardiovascular diseases, including cancer. In this review, we use a reverse bedside-to-bench approach to investigate the effects of common cardiovascular medications on tumor angiogenesis and vascular angiogenesis. Aspirin seems to reduce the risk of developing cancer, particularly colon cancer. However, whether the protective influence of aspirin is due to antiangiogenesis effect is still unclear. β-Blockers, which are normally used to reduce heart rate and prolong diastole, trigger an increase in stretch-associated release of proangiogenic growth factors thereby inducing angiogenesis. However, according to other studies β-blockers are able to inhibit angiogenesis via multiplicate mechanisms. Similarly, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker have controversial effects for the regulation of cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Statins can augment collateral vascular growth in ischemic tissues and restrict the development of cancer. So this topical anti-inflammatory drug seems to be of high value for further therapy. Finally, suggestions on how this pilot experience may guide the conduct of future preclinical investigations, and clinical trials are discussed.

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