Disrupting tumour blood vessels

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Jun;5(6):423-35. doi: 10.1038/nrc1628.


Low-molecular-weight vascular-disrupting agents (VDAs) cause a pronounced shutdown in blood flow to solid tumours, resulting in extensive tumour-cell necrosis, while they leave the blood flow in normal tissues relatively intact. The largest group of VDAs is the tubulin-binding combretastatins, several of which are now being tested in clinical trials. DMXAA (5,6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid) - one of a structurally distinct group of drugs - is also being tested in clinical trials. A full understanding of the action of these and other VDAs will provide insights into mechanisms that control tumour blood flow and will be the basis for the development of new therapeutic drugs for targeting the established tumour vasculature for therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Bibenzyls / pharmacology
  • Bibenzyls / therapeutic use
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use
  • Xanthones / pharmacology
  • Xanthones / therapeutic use


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Bibenzyls
  • Stilbenes
  • Xanthones
  • vadimezan
  • combretastatin