Angiogenesis inhibitors in clinical development for lung cancer
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
The use of tumor angiogenesis as a therapeutic target is based on extensive literature showing the dependence of tumors on the process of angiogenesis for growth, invasion, and metastasis. Seminal work performed by Folkman three decades ago determined that tumors beyond the size of approximately 2 mm require angiogenesis for subsequent growth and development. This basic hypothesis stimulated research in the field of angiogenesis and has resulted in the identification of factors that both enhance and inhibit this "angiogenic switch." The intent of this article is to present data on several angiogenesis inhibitors that are currently undergoing clinical evaluation in cancer patients. These agents may be particularly useful in the treatment of lung cancer, both as adjunctive therapy in early-stage or locally advanced disease, as well as in combination strategies with platinum-based therapy in metastatic disease. Although angiogenesis inhibitors have been in clinical trials for the past decade, there has been a shift in recent years towards the development of more mechanism-based and receptor-targeted agents. Interestingly, no antiangiogenic agent has been approved as such for use in cancer, perhaps because of the challenges involved in the clinical development of these novel agents. These include the potential requirement for long-term administration, difficulties in deriving biologically efficacious doses in early clinical trials, and the inability to use tumor regression as a primary endpoint in phase II trials.