Although anti-angiogenesis agents targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathways are already in clinical use and can effectively treat some cancers, there is a continued need for development of new angiogenesis inhibitors to circumvent resistance or reduce toxicity. To highlight the important topics in this evolving field Nature Reviews Cancer presents a Focus on Targeting Angiogenesis.

The topics covered in this specially-commissioned series of Reviews include the mechanisms by which VEGF antagonists kill tumour cells, novel mechanisms of resistance to anti-VEGF drugs and advances in identifying additional targets for anti-angiogenic therapy, such as members of the integrin and semaphorin families. These articles together with some recent Research Highlights and the accompanying library of the most relevant recent publications from Nature Research, describe our current understanding of this field. Furthermore, this Focus highlights the importance of gaining a greater understanding of the contribution of the tumour-associated vasculature to tumour growth and anticancer therapy.

From the editors


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 565 (2008)

Foreword: Limiting supply


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 577 (2008)

Research Highlights

Angiogenesis: TGFβ makes a new friend

Safia Ali Danovi


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 572 (2008)

Angiogenesis: Turning it down a Notch

Safia Ali Danovi


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 572-573 (2008)

Angiogenesis: Survival of the infected

Katharine H. Wrighton


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 569 (2008)

Angiogenesis: A less bitter pill

Patrick Goymer


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 567 (2008)

Angiogenesis: Mini mediator of metastasis suppression

Nicola McCarthy


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 570-571 (2008)

Targeting thyroid angiogenesis


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 573 (2008)



VEGF-targeted therapy: mechanisms of anti-tumour activity

Lee M. Ellis & Daniel J. Hicklin


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 579-591 (2008)

The therapeutic benefit associated with VEGF-targeted therapy is complex, and probably involves multiple mechanisms, several of which are covered in this Review. Understanding these mechanisms more fully should lead to future advances in the use of these agents in the clinic.

Modes of resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy

Gabriele Bergers & Douglas Hanahan


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 592-603 (2008)

In both preclinical and clinical settings, the benefits of angiogenesis inhibitors targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor signalling pathways are at best transitory and followed by restoration of tumour growth and progression. Emerging data support a proposition that two modes of unconventional resistance underlie such results.

Integrins in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis

Christie J. Avraamides, Barbara Garmy-Susini & Judith A. Varner


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 604-617 (2008)

Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are regulated by integrins, which are cell surface receptors whose ligands are extracellular matrix proteins and immunoglobulin superfamily molecules. Here, the evidence implicating integrins as regulators of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis and the current state of therapeutic strategies to target them are discussed.

The role of myeloid cells in the promotion of tumour angiogenesis

Craig Murdoch, Munitta Muthana, Seth B. Coffelt & Claire E. Lewis


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 618-631 (2008)

Bone marrow-derived myeloid cells, such as macrophages and mast cells, have an important role in regulating the formation and maintenance of blood vessels in tumours. How do these cells contribute to this process?

The semaphorins: versatile regulators of tumour progression and tumour angiogenesis

Gera Neufeld & Ofra Kessler


Nature Reviews Cancer 8, 632-645 (2008)

The semaphorins and their receptors, the neuropilins and the plexins, originally characterized as proteins involved in the guidance of axons, can either promote or inhibit tumour progression. This Review documents their effects on tumour angiogenesis, as well as on metastasis and cell survival.


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