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Lab, Field, and Clinic
March 2, 2005

Antiangiogenic Therapy a Two-Trick Pony?

JAMA. 2005;293(9):1051. doi:10.1001/jama.293.9.1051

While antiangiogenic therapy made a splash in the 1990s with its success in eradicating cancerous tumors in mice, the agents, when used alone, have fared poorly in the clinic. It seems that the drugs’ ability to block formation of new blood vessels to bring oxygen and nutrients to tumors is not enough to combat established tumors in humans.

Looking back, this therapeutic failure is not surprising, says chemical engineer-turned-tumor biologist Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. An antiangiogenic agent “can kill many to most cancer cells, but the remaining cancer cells will begin to make new angiogenic molecules and new blood vessels will come up again,” he said.

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