Vascular endothelial growth factor: its prognostic, predictive, and therapeutic implications

Lancet Oncol. 2001 Nov;2(11):667-73. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(01)00556-3.


Since the discovery that cancer development requires the growth of new blood vessels, many investigations have revealed the key molecules in the regulation of new vessel formation. One of the most important of these molecules is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)--an endothelial-cell-specific mitogen and survival factor. VEGF also causes increased vascular permeability and recruits progenitor endothelial cells from the bone marrow. Clinical observations have confirmed that VEGF status is closely associated with the extent of neovascularisation and prognosis in many solid tumours. VEGF status is predictive of resistance to various treatments, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and endocrine therapy. Preliminary results also indicate that anti-VEGF treatment suppresses cancer progression without serious toxic effects. Various approaches for the control of cancers involving inhibition of the activity of VEGF are currently being investigated. This review considers the clinical implications of VEGF, particularly its prognostic, predictive, and therapeutic value.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endothelial Growth Factors* / physiology*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors* / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / physiology*
  • Lymphokines / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors