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Cancer & Angiogenesis

The body has a built in mechanism that allows it to develop new capillaries under certain circumstances, such as the wound healing process.  It is this natural process that also occurs during the growth of cancer cells.  This new blood supply growth allows the cancerous cells to thrive.  Angiogenesis inhibitors, sometimes called anti-angiogenesis drugs, is a way of slowing the growth of tumors by stopping the development of this supply.

There were several exaggerated reports of laboratory test results that may have tarnished the image of angiogenesis inhibitors, but they are still a promising treatment.  They have relatively mild side effects, can be administered on an uninterrupted cycle, and affect only the newly forming blood vessels.  They can be used in combination with chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy to enhance the effect of the drug.  There are currently many angiogenesis inhibitors in clinical trials.  To read more about this treatment and to view clinical trials, visit these pages:

American Cancer Society - offers several links on this treatment.

Angiogenesis - understanding the process.

Angiogenesis Foundations - patient help center.

NCI - a very thorough explanation of angiogenesis.

NCI - angiogenesis inhibitors in clinical trials.