Angiogenesis inhibitors are medicines that stop the formation of new blood vessels in and around cancerous tumors.
Angiogenesis inhibitors are a group of medicines that prevent the formation of tiny new blood vessels to the area of cancerous tumors. Angiogenesis refers to the ability of cancer cells to form new blood vessels that invade the tumor and other surrounding areas. Tumors need a blood supply to nourish the cancer cells; as tumors grow they must constantly form new blood vessels. These blood vessels are also used by the cancer cells to metastasize or spread the cancerous cells from one area to the next. Angiogenesis inhibitors are important because the scientific theory is that if one can remove and/or prevent the formation of new blood vessels in the tumors, the cancer cells will not be able to grow any further. This could cause the tumors to stay the same size or shrink. In addition, it may be possible to prevent the tumors from spreading by cutting off their ability to invade other surrounding areas through these newly formed blood vessels. There are a few drugs today thought to work as angiogenesis inhibitors, such as thalidomide. Additional agents being studied in ongoing oncology clinical trials.
Nancy J. Beaulieu, RPh., BCOP