Vascular endothelial growth factor: biology and therapeutic applications

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(7-8):1349-57. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2007.04.010. Epub 2007 Apr 22.


While the development of anti-angiogenic therapy, as it pertains to cancer treatment, may still be in its infancy relative to well-established modalities such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, major strides made in the past several decades have allowed translation of basic science discoveries in this field into clinical reality. The discovery of key molecular modulators of angiogenesis, notably vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), has catalyzed the development of numerous neutralizing therapeutic agents. The validity of VEGF inhibition as a therapeutic strategy has been well supported in randomized clinical trials, as well as U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the VEGF antagonists bevacizumab, sunitinib malate, sorafenib, pegaptinib and ranibizumab. Accordingly, this review will (1) briefly review the basic molecular biology of VEGF and (2) summarize recent progress in targeting the VEGF molecular pathway as therapy for angiogenic diseases such as cancer and age-related macular degeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A