Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 19–40 | Cite as

Anti-vascular therapies in ovarian cancer: moving beyond anti-VEGF approaches

  • Hyun-Jin Choi
  • Guillermo N. Armaiz Pena
  • Sunila Pradeep
  • Min Soon Cho
  • Robert L. Coleman
  • Anil K. SoodEmail author


Resistance to chemotherapy is among the most important issues in the management of ovarian cancer. Unlike cancer cells, which are heterogeneous as a result of remarkable genetic instability, stromal cells are considered relatively homogeneous. Thus, targeting the tumor microenvironment is an attractive approach for cancer therapy. Arguably, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies hold great promise, but their efficacy has been modest, likely owing to redundant and complementary angiogenic pathways. Components of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and other pathways may compensate for VEGF blockade and allow angiogenesis to occur despite anti-VEGF treatment. In addition, hypoxia induced by anti-angiogenesis therapy modifies signaling pathways in tumor and stromal cells, which induces resistance to therapy. Because of tumor cell heterogeneity and angiogenic pathway redundancy, combining cytotoxic and targeted therapies or combining therapies targeting different pathways can potentially overcome resistance. Although targeted therapy is showing promise, much more work is needed to maximize its impact, including the discovery of new targets and identification of individuals most likely to benefit from such therapies.


Ovarian cancer Targeted therapy Angiogenesis Anti-vascular agent Resistance to anti-VEGF therapy 



Portions of this work were supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (P50CA083639, P50CA098258, CA109298, U54 CA151668, CA177909, UH2TR000943, T32CA101642, and CA16672), the Department of Defense (OC120547 and OC093416), a Program Project Development Grant, and an Ann Schreiber-mentored Investigators Award from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, CPRIT RP110595, the Bettyann Asche Murray Distinguished Professorship, the Chapman Foundation, the Meyer and Ida Gordon Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, the RGK Foundation, the Judi A. Rees Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. We thank Zachary S. Bohannan, Dawn Chalaire, and Arthur Gelmis for editorial review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun-Jin Choi
    • 1
  • Guillermo N. Armaiz Pena
    • 1
  • Sunila Pradeep
    • 1
  • Min Soon Cho
    • 4
  • Robert L. Coleman
    • 1
  • Anil K. Sood
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine Unit 1362The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cancer BiologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Section of Benign Hematology, Department of Pulmonary MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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