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Persistent vascular normalization as an alternative goal of anti-angiogenic cancer therapy


To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail: y-sato@idac.tohoku.ac.jp


Angiogenesis is recognized as one of the principal hallmarks of cancers. Cancers contain newly formed immature vessels devoid of firm coverage by pericytes. Several drugs targeting vascular endothelial growth factor signals are now in clinical use for anti-angiogenic cancer treatment. Those drugs transiently normalize tumor vessels and ultimately provoke vascular regression. This regression causes tumor hypoxia, which could trigger certain cancer cells to become more invasive and metastatic. Normalized vessels do not induce tumor hypoxia, and may protect from cancer cell intravasation and enhance anticancer treatment with chemotherapeutic agents, radiation, or immune therapy. Thus, persistent vascular normalization could be an alternative goal of anti-angiogenic cancer treatment. (Cancer Sci 2011; 102: 1253–1256)