• Biomarkers of angiogenesis and their role in the development of VEGF inhibitors.

      Murukesh, N; Dive, Caroline; Jayson, Gordon C; Department of Medical Oncology, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Cancer Research UK and University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2010-01-05)
      Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been confirmed as an important therapeutic target in randomised clinical trials in multiple disease settings. However, the extent to which individual patients benefit from VEGF inhibitors is unclear. If we are to optimise the use of these drugs or develop combination regimens that build on this efficacy, it is critical to identify those patients who are likely to benefit, particularly as these agents can be toxic and are expensive. To this end, biomarkers have been evaluated in tissue, in circulation and by imaging. Consistent drug-induced increases in plasma VEGF-A and blood pressure, as well as reductions in soluble VEGF-R2 and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI parameters have been reported. In some clinical trials, biomarker changes were statistically significant and associated with clinical end points, but there is considerable heterogeneity between studies that are to some extent attributable to methodological issues. On the basis of observations with these biomarkers, it is now appropriate to conduct detailed prospective studies to define a suite of predictive, pharmacodynamic and surrogate response biomarkers that identify those patients most likely to benefit from and monitor their response to this novel class of drugs.
    • Targeting blood vessels for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

      Amir, Eitan; Hughes, Sarah; Blackhall, Fiona H; Thatcher, Nick; Ostoros, Gyula; Timar, Jozsef; Tovari, Jozsef; Kovacs, Gabor; Dome, Balazs; Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. (2008-08)
      Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Although modest survival benefit has been observed with surgery, radiotherapy and platinum-based chemotherapy, an efficacy plateau has been reached. It has become obvious, therefore, that additional treatments are needed in order to provide an improved survival benefit for these patients. The use of molecular targeted therapies, particularly those against tumor capillaries, has the potential to improve outcomes for NSCLC patients. Bevacizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is the first targeted drug that has shown survival advantage when combined with chemotherapy in NSCLC. Other antivascular agents, including vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) and different small-molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, have also shown promise in phase I and II trials in NSCLC. The aim of this study is to describe the clinical properties of these drugs and to discuss the evidence that supports their use in the treatment of NSCLC. Furthermore, we plan to review the main pitfalls of antivascular strategies in NSCLC cancer therapy as well as assess the future direction of these treatment methods with an emphasis on clarifying the molecular background of the effects of these drugs and defining the biomarkers.