Silencing or fueling metastasis with VEGF inhibitors: antiangiogenesis revisited

Cancer Cell. 2009 Mar 3;15(3):167-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2009.02.007.


Clinical practice reveals that therapy with angiogenesis inhibitors often does not prolong survival of cancer patients for more than months, because tumors elicit evasive resistance. In this issue of Cancer Cell, two papers report that VEGF inhibitors reduce primary tumor growth but promote tumor invasiveness and metastasis. These perplexing findings help to explain resistance to these drugs but raise pertinent questions of how to best treat cancer patients with antiangiogenic medicine in the future. We discuss here how VEGF inhibitors can induce such divergent effects on primary tumor growth and metastasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A