Targeting angiogenesis: a review of angiogenesis inhibitors in the treatment of lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2003 Dec;42 Suppl 1:S81-91. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5002(03)00308-8.


It has now been almost 30 years since Dr J. Folkman first proposed that inhibition of angiogenesis could play a key role in treating cancer; however, it is only recently that anti-angiogenesis agents have entered the clinical setting. The search for novel therapies is particularly important in lung cancer, where the majority of patients succumb to their disease despite aggressive treatments. Several classes of agents now exist that target the different steps involved in angiogenesis. These include drugs inhibiting matrix breakdown, the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs), such as marimastat, prinomastat, BMS275291, BAY12-9566, and neovastat drugs that block endothelial cell signaling via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor (VEGFR) including rhuMAb VEGF, SU5416, SU6668, ZD6474, CP-547,632 and ZD4190. Drugs that are similar to endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis including endostatin, angiostatin and interferons. There has also been renewed interest in thalidomide. Drugs such as squalamine, celecoxib, ZD6126, TNP-470 and those targeting the integrins are also being evaluated in lung cancer. Despite early enthusiasm for many of these agents, Phase III trials have not yet demonstrated significant increases in overall survival and toxicity remains an issue. It is hoped that as our understanding of the complex process of angiogenesis increases, so will our ability to design more effective targeted therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors