Clinical and fundamental aspects of angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis

Acta Clin Belg. May-Jun 2007;62(3):162-9. doi: 10.1179/acb.2007.027.


Insight into the fundamental physiological mechanisms of blood vessel development and neoformation has led to the discovery of multiple angiogenic growth factors and inhibitors. To date, at least 5 angiogenesis inhibitors are readily available for clinical use, mainly in the treatment of cancers and age-related macular degeneration. More inhibitors are yet to come and the indications for their clinical use are expected to broaden. Conversely, the use of angiogenic stimulators, although initially promising in animal models and in small uncontrolled pilot studies in patients with ischaemic heart disease or peripheral arterial occlusive disease, could thus far not show any convincing therapeutic improvement. Challenges still remain as to which angiogenic factor or combination of factors should be administered and in which form (protein versus gene), and what route and duration of administration should be used. Further clinical perspective might come from the recent identification of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a modifier of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and as a promising therapy in the treatment of ALS in preclinical animal models. This review discusses the different clinical trials of angiogenic inhibitors and stimulators, preceded by some fundamental aspects of angiogenesis, giving the clinician a brief overview of the most relevant angiogenic topics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Angiopoietins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / physiopathology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic* / physiology
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology


  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Angiopoietins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors