The underlying mechanism by which anti-VEGF agents prolong cancer patient survival is poorly understood. We show that in a mouse tumor model, VEGF systemically impairs functions of multiple organs including those in the hematopoietic and endocrine systems, leading to early death. Anti-VEGF antibody, bevacizumab, and anti-VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), but not anti-VEGFR-1, reversed VEGF-induced cancer-associated systemic syndrome (CASS) and prevented death in tumor-bearing mice. Surprisingly, VEGFR2 blockage improved survival by rescuing mice from CASS without significantly compromising tumor growth, suggesting that "off-tumor" VEGF targets are more sensitive than the tumor vasculature to anti-VEGF drugs. Similarly, VEGF-induced CASS occurred in a spontaneous breast cancer mouse model overexpressing neu. Clinically, VEGF expression and CASS severity positively correlated in various human cancers. These findings define novel therapeutic targets of anti-VEGFagentsandprovide mechanistic insights into the action of this new class of clinically available anti-VEGF cancer drugs.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 25 2008|
- Antiangiogenic therapy
- Cancer syndrome
- Tumor growth
ASJC Scopus subject areas