Vascular endothelial growth factor and immunosuppression in cancer: current knowledge and potential for new therapy

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 Apr;7(4):449-60. doi: 10.1517/14712598.7.4.449.


Two decades of research into the role of immunosuppression and angiogenesis in tumor biology have revealed multiple links between the two. Vascular endothelial growth factor, originally thought to be solely involved in vascular growth and permeability, has emerged as a significant agent of immune tolerance in the tumor microenvironment. This review examines two major elements of this field: the research behind the role of vascular endothelial growth factor in immunosuppression, especially as pertains to dendritic cell function; and the subsequent research into the potential for using antiangiogenic therapy to both starve tumors by hypoxia and enhance the response of tumors to immunotherapy. Several strategies tested so far have yielded incomplete, yet promising, results.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bevacizumab
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy*
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / immunology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Bevacizumab