Anti-VEGF, or anti‒vascular endothelial growth factor, are drugs that stop a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from working. Vascular endothelial growth factor is produced by many cells, including tumor cells, macrophages, and platelets. Anti-VEGF agents reduce new blood vessel growth or swelling from occurring. Vascular endothelial growth factor contributes to a very important role in tumor growth and metastasis by regulating tumor angiogenesis. For this reason, anti-VEGF therapies are used to treat patients with some cancers.
Cancer growth is enhanced by VEGF, which allows the spread of cancer to other areas of the body. The goal of anti-VEGF treatment is to essentially create a blockade in the VEGF pathway. Through anti-VEGF therapy, the blood supply is cut off from tumors, and shrinking the tumor to stop its growth and spread.
There are a variety of drugs currently used as anti-VEGF treatment options in patients with cancer. Many of these can be used in addition to, or in combination with, chemotherapeutic agents. Some products currently used as anti-VEGF agents in the treatment of cancer are: