Novel Pathways for Targeting Tumor Angiogenesis in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Front Oncol. 2021 Dec 3:11:772305. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.772305. eCollection 2021.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women and is the second leading cause of cancer related death worldwide. Angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessel development from pre-existing vasculature, has been implicated in the growth, progression, and metastasis of cancer. Tumor angiogenesis has been explored as a key therapeutic target for decades, as the blockade of this process holds the potential to reduce the oxygen and nutrient supplies that are required for tumor growth. However, many existing anti-angiogenic approaches, such as those targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Notch, and Angiopoietin signaling, have been associated with severe side-effects, limited survival advantage, and enhanced cancer regrowth rates. To address these setbacks, alternative pathways involved in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis are being explored, including those involving Bone Morphogenetic Protein-9 signaling, the Sonic Hedgehog pathway, Cyclooxygenase-2, p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase, and Chemokine Ligand 18. This review article will introduce the concept of tumor angiogenesis in the context of breast cancer, followed by an overview of current anti-angiogenic therapies, associated resistance mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets.

Keywords: angiogenesis; bone morphogenetic protein 9; breast cancer; notch signaling; vascular endothelial growth factor.

Publication types

  • Review