Targeting VEGF/VEGFR to Modulate Antitumor Immunity

Front Immunol. 2018 May 3;9:978. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00978. eCollection 2018.


In addition to the crucial role in promoting the growth of tumor vessels, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is also immunosuppressive. VEGF can inhibit the function of T cells, increase the recruitment of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and hinder the differentiation and activation of dendritic cells (DCs). Recent studies have investigated the role of antiangiogenic agents in antitumor immunity, especially in recent 3 years. Therefore, it is necessary to update the role of targeting VEGF/VEGFR in antitumor immunity. In this review, we focus on the latest clinical and preclinical findings on the modulatory role of antiangiogenic agents targeting VEGF/VEGFR in immune cells, including effector T cells, Tregs, MDSCs, DCs, tumor-associated macrophages, and mast cells. Our review will be potentially helpful for the development of combinations of angiogenesis inhibitors with immunological modulators.

Keywords: T cells; angiogenesis; immune; tumor; vascular endothelial growth factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / immunology*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor