Author(s): Finn RS, Zhu AX
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Abstract Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and one of the few malignancies with an increasing incidence in the USA. While the relationship between HCC and its inciting risk factors (e.g., hepatitis B, hepatitis C and alcohol liver disease) is well defined, driving genetic alterations are still yet to be identified. Clinically, HCC tends to be hypervascular and, for that reason, transarterial chemoembolization has proven to be effective in managing many patients with localized disease. More recently, angiogenesis has been targeted effectively with pharmacologic strategies, including monoclonal antibodies against VEGF and the VEGF receptor, as well as small-molecule kinase inhibitors of the VEGF receptor. Targeting angiogenesis with these approaches has been validated in several different solid tumors since the initial approval of bevacizumab for advanced colon cancer in 2004. In HCC, only sorafenib has been shown to extend survival in patients with advanced HCC and has opened the door for other anti-angiogenic strategies. Here, we will review the data supporting the targeting of the VEGF axis in HCC and the preclinical and early clinical development of bevacizumab.
This article was published in Expert Rev Anticancer Ther
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis