Anti-angiogenesis: making the tumor vulnerable to the immune system

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2008 Oct;57(10):1553-8. doi: 10.1007/s00262-008-0524-3. Epub 2008 Apr 26.


Ongoing angiogenesis has been shown to possess immune suppressive activity through several mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is the suppression of adhesion receptors, such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin-adhesion molecules involved in leukocyte interactions-on the vascular endothelium. This phenomenon, when happening to the tumor endothelium, supports tumor growth due to escape from immunity. Since angiogenesis has this immune suppressive effect, it has been hypothesized that inhibition of angiogenesis may circumvent this problem. In vitro and in vivo data now show that several angiogenesis inhibitors are able to normalize endothelial adhesion molecule expression in tumor blood vessels, restore leukocyte vessel wall interactions, and enhance the inflammatory infiltrate in tumors. It is suggested that such angiogenesis inhibitors can make tumors more vulnerable for the immune system and may therefore be applied to facilitate immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / immunology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / therapy


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules