New blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) is fundamental to tumor growth, invasion, and metastatic dissemination. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway plays pivotal roles in regulating tumor angiogenesis. VEGF as a therapeutic target has been validated in various types of human cancers. Different agents including antibodies, aptamers, peptides, and small molecules have been extensively investigated to block VEGF and its pro-angiogenic functions. Some of these agents have been approved by FDA and some are currently in clinical trials. Combination therapies are also being pursued for better tumor control. By providing comprehensive real-time information, molecular imaging of VEGF pathway may accelerate the drug development process. Moreover, the imaging will be of great help for patient stratification and therapeutic effect monitoring, which will promote effective personalized molecular cancer therapy. This review summarizes the current status of tumor therapeutic agents targeting to VEGF and the applications of VEGF related molecular imaging.
Keywords: Vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF, targeted therapy, molecular imaging
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