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Mechanisms of adverse effects of anti-VEGF therapy for cancer


Advances in understanding the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in normal physiology are giving insight into the basis of adverse effects attributed to the use of VEGF inhibitors in clinical oncology. These effects are typically downstream consequences of suppression of cellular signalling pathways important in the regulation and maintenance of the microvasculature. Downregulation of these pathways in normal organs can lead to vascular disturbances and even regression of blood vessels, which could be intensified by concurrent pathological conditions. These changes are generally manageable and pose less risk than the tumours being treated, but they highlight the properties shared by tumour vessels and the vasculature of normal organs.

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