Endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors and their therapeutic implications

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2001 Apr;33(4):357-69. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(01)00023-1.


A number of endogenous inhibitors targeting the tumor vasculature have recently been identified using in vitro and in vivo antiangiogenesis models. While many of these angiogenesis inhibitors display a broad spectrum of biological actions on several systems in the body, several inhibitors including angiostatin, endostatin, and serpin antithrombin seem to act specifically on the proliferating endothelial cell compartment of the newly formed blood vessels. The discovery of these specific endothelial inhibitors not only increases our understanding of the functions of these molecules in the regulation of physiological and pathological angiogenesis, but may also provide an important therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer and other angiogenesis dependent diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and chronic inflammations. Systemic administration of these angiogenesis inhibitors in animals significantly suppresses the growth of a variety of tumors and their metastases. However, their production as functional recombinant proteins has been proven to be difficult. In addition, high dosages of these inhibitors are required to suppress tumor growth in animal studies. Other disadvantages of the antiangiogenic protein therapy include repeated injections, prolonged treatment, transmission of toxins and infectious particles, and high cost for manufacturing large amounts of protein molecules. Thus, alternative strategies need to be developed in order to improve the clinical settings of antiangiogenic therapy. Developments of these strategies are ongoing and they include identification of more potent inhibitors, antiangiogenic gene therapy, improvement of protein/compound half-lives in the circulation, increase of their concentrations at the disease location, and combinatorial therapies with approaches including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. Despite the above-mentioned disadvantages, a few inhibitors have entered into the early stages of clinical trials and they may bring new hopes for the treatment of cancer and other angiogenesis dependent diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors*
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Hydrolysis
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors