From disdain to hype, to mixed results in clinical trials, a sobering reality is setting in for researchers pursuing antiangiogenesis as a treatment for cancer: It is not as straightforward as once hoped. The idea is that choking off a tumor's blood supply will slow or eliminate its growth. But several clinical trials following this line of inquiry have failed or been discontinued.

This past February, for example, Sugen, a division of Peapack, NJ-based Pharmacia, announced it was aborting its Phase III colorectal cancer clinical trial of SU5416, as no clinical benefit was found. SU5416 is a small-molecule angiogenesis inhibitor that blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF-R) in endothelial cells, which is critical for new blood vessel formation.1

Earlier this year, Joanne Yu and colleagues at the Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto provided a possible, partial explanation for the disappointing...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?