Resistance to anti-VEGF agents

N. C. Ton, G. C. Jayson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The number of anti-angiogenic agents developed for clinical use has risen greatly over the past decade. Currently, more than 80 are in trials ranging from phase I through to phase III studies and many more are in preclinical evaluation. Much hope was envisaged for these new agents to become the panacea of anti-tumoural treatment. Unfortunately the single agent activity to date has proven to be disappointing although one trial has recently reported a survival advantage when chemotherapy was administered with anti-VEGF antibodies in the setting of advanced colorectal cancer. To an extent, this may be due to great expectations of cytostatic compounds, but recently many factors have been examined to explain the differences between clinical and experimental findings. In this review, some of the factors responsible for the discrepancy are examined, with a specific focus on inhibitors of VEGF. The key factors responsible for the lack of activity are tumour heterogeneity and redundancy in the VEGF signalling system. An increased understanding of these factors is critical to the development of effective anti-angiogenic agents and need to be taken into account as new generations of drugs emerge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-64
    Number of pages13
    JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • Anti-VEGF
    • Cytostatic
    • Heterogeneity
    • Inhibition
    • Redundancy
    • Resistance
    • Signalling
    • VEGF


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