Overview and Indications

Tumors need angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels, to grow. Angiogenesis inhibitors stop or slow the growth or spread of tumors by preventing the formation of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis inhibitors are a unique treatment option because they tend to inhibit the growth of blood vessels rather than tumor cells. This treatment may be combined with additional therapies in the treatment of certain cancers.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved bevacizumab (Avastin®) as a treatment for cases of glioblastoma that have not responded to other treatments, and to be used along with other medications to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, some non-small cell lung cancers and metastatic renal cell cancer.

Other FDA-approved drugs with anti-angiogenic agents include sorafenib (Nexavar®), sunitinib (Sutent®), pazopanib (Votrient®) and everolimus (Afinitor®). Sorafenib is approved for hepatocellular carcinoma and kidney cancer, sunitinib and everolimus for both kidney cancer and neuroendocrine tumors, and pazopanib for kidney cancer.