Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 149-163

First online:

Anti-angiogenic Treatment Strategies for Malignant Brain Tumors

  • Matthias KirschAffiliated withKlinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Technische Universität Dresden
  • , Gabriele SchackertAffiliated withKlinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Technische Universität Dresden
  • , Peter McL. BlackAffiliated withNeurosurgery, Children's Hospital

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The use of angiogenesis inhibitors may offer novel strategies in brain tumor therapy. In contrast to traditional cancer treatments that attack tumor cells directly, angiogenesis inhibitors target at the formation of tumor-feeding blood vessels that provide continuous supply of nutrients and oxygen.

With respect to brain tumor therapy, inhibitors of angiogenesis display unique features that are unknown to conventional chemotherapeutic agents. The most important features are independence of the blood–brain barrier, cell type specificity, and reduced resistance. Malignant brain tumors, especially malignant gliomas, are among the most vascularized tumors known. Despite multimodal therapeutic approaches, the prognosis remains dismal. Thus, angiogenesis inhibitors may be highly effective drugs against these tumors. In a clinical setting, they could be applied in the treatment of multiple tumors or postsurgically as an adjuvant therapy to prevent recurrence.

This article provides an overview of current anti-angiogenic treatment strategies with emphasis on substances already in clinical trials or candidate substances for clinical trials. The cellular and molecular basis of these substances is reviewed.

Angiogenesis brain tumor glioma clinical trials