Anti-angiogenic treatments are treatments designed to prevent the growth of cancerous tumors, or to destroy the blood vessels that are responsible for their blood supply, or that of cancer metastases. Rapid growth of cancer cells depends on adequate blood supply, as it is considered that tumor cells cannot grow larger than 1 or 2 millimetres without any feeding blood vessels. This is why many types of cancer induce rapid growth of blood vessels to support continuous proliferation of malignant cells. The goal is to use this to slow down the tumor’s growth or even shrink it.
What is Angiogenesis?
Angiogenesis is the process that induces development of new blood vessels and it is usually triggered by a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF.
How do Anti-Angiogenic Treatments Work?
Anti-angiogenic treatments use angiogenesis inhibitors to block the growth of new blood vessels in and around cancer lesions, aiming to reduce direct blood supply and minimize or prevent tumor growth. As such, anti-angiogenic treatments constitute an effective supportive treatment against rapidly growing cancers. This type of treatment can be safely used in parallel with conventional chemotherapy or alongside immunotherapy.