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What Are Angiogenesis Inhibitors to Treat Cancer?

Angiogenic inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy. They target the blood vessels that feed cancer cells, causing them to die.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors can cause cancers to shrink and stop spreading to other parts of the body.

There are many types of treatment available for cancer. One of these is targeted therapy, which uses drugs that are designed to specifically target different aspects of cancer cells.

What is Angiogenesis?

Angiogenesis is a process that’s controlled by chemical signaling between your cells. Typically, it’s important at certain points in time: when you’re still growing or when you’re in the process of healing from an injury or a surgery.

In cancer, solid tumors need a steady supply of blood to continue to grow and spread. In order to achieve this, tumors can send signals that promote the process of angiogenesis. As new blood vessels form around the tumor, they provide it with oxygen and nutrients that allow it to thrive.

Angiogenesis can also contribute to metastasis, when tumor cells break off and spread to more distant parts of your body via the bloodstream.

How do Angiogenesis Inhibitors work?

Angiogenesis inhibitors work by blocking the formation of new blood vessels around your tumor. When this happens, it can prevent your tumor from continuing to grow and thrive.

Typically, angiogenesis is initiated when a chemical signal called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binds to its receptor on a cell type called an endothelial cell.

Endothelial cells line the walls of your blood vessels. When VEGF binds to its receptor, a chain of signaling happens within the endothelial cell that promotes the formation of new blood vessels.

Angiogenesis inhibitors can interfere with this process in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Reducing or blocking VEGF binding to its receptor;
  2. Inhibiting integrins on endothelial cells; and/or
  3. Inhibiting other proteins that help initiate new blood vessel formation (e.g., c-Met).

What types of cancers are angiogenesis inhibitors being used for?

Angiogenesis inhibitors can be used in the treatment of many different types of cancers, including:

  • cervical cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • brain cancer
  • breast cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • lymphoma
  • liver cancer
  • lung cancer
  • multiple myeloma
  • ovarian cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • thyroid cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • soft tissue¬†carcinoma

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