What does anti-angiogenic mean?

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Question from Lutasgram: I'm not clear on the meaning of anti-angiogenic approaches.
Answers - Andrew D. Seidman, M.D. The word "anti-angiogenic" refers to any strategy that inhibits the blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to cancer cells. The ideal anti-angiogenic drug would be specific only for the blood vessels that supply tumors and have no effect on other blood vessels that provide blood supply to normal organs and tissues in the body. Unfortunately, even "targeted" agents such as Avastin are not purely specific for tumor blood vessels. As evidence of this, Avastin can occasionally cause high blood pressure, blood clots, bleeding, and kidney injury. Hopefully, newer anti-angiogenic drugs will overcome some of these deficiencies. One such agent, Sutent (chemical name: sunitinib), is an oral anti-angiogenic drug that has been approved for treatment of kidney cancer and that has also shown promising effectiveness in breast cancer.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Targeted Therapies: What Is Right for You? featured Andrew Seidman, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answering your questions about different kinds of targeted therapies and how they work.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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