Targeting Angiogenesis in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Angiogenesis is an important factor for cancer development and progression in humans. Hereditary and sporadic renal cell carcinoma are characterized by inactivation of the Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene, which results in hyperactivity of the hypoxia-inducible factor-a (HIFa). As a consequence, there is a production of angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The activity of these factors is associated with oncogenesis, growth, and metastatic potential of renal-cell carcinoma. These data indicate that angiogenic factors are the promising therapeutic targets in this disease. Surgery can cure the patients with renal cancer if disease is diagnosed at an early stage. On the contrary, inoperable or metastatic disease is not curable. Until recently, the only drugs approved for the treatment of advanced disease were the cytokines, interferon, and interleukin. Nevertheless, only a minority of patients (about 15%) would benefited from this treatment, while the toxicity was considerable. During the last 5 years a new era of biological agents, with considerable activity has been developed and tested in clinical trials and (some of them) have been approved in USA and Europe. These agents are: Sunitinib, Bevacizumab, Sorafenib and Temserolimus. Bevacizumab is an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, Sunitinib and Sorafenib are multi- tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), while Temserolimus is a mTOR inhibitor. The common these in their development is the inhibition of angiogenesis, which may explain their significant activity in renal-cell carcinoma. All the agents have been proven more effective than the interferon as first or second-line treatment. This review will focus in these recent developments and the intense continuing clinical research in this field.
Keywords: Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), Angiogenesis, Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene, cytokines, interferon, Sunitinib, Bevacizumab, Sorafenib, Temserolimus
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