, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 1-12
Date: 06 Mar 2013

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy in the era of personalized medicine

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To review the role of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies in the personalized medicine era.


We searched PubMed for prospective clinical trials published through October 2012 of anti-VEGF agents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency.


The use of anti-VEGF drugs as single agents or in combination with other targeted or cytotoxic agents was associated with improved response rates and progression-free survival. Anti-VEGF therapy exerts its action by blocking tumor vessel formation and, thus, proliferation. Some investigators demonstrated modest to no improvement in overall survival, although the maintenance of anti-VEGF therapy beyond progression was shown to result in longer overall survival. The use of anti-VEGF therapy was associated with adverse events (i.e., thromboembolism, hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, and hypertension) and transformation to a more invasive phenotype.


The development of multikinase targeting agents that include anti-VEGF properties warrants further investigation. The role of anti-VEGF therapy is evolving in the era of personalized medicine, and its use needs to be reassessed in tumor types with effective FDA-approved targeted agents, especially in light of its relatively high cost.