Since 2004, four antiangiogenic drugs have been approved for clinical use in patients with advanced solid cancers, on the basis of their capacity to improve survival in phase III clinical studies. These achievements validated the concept introduced by Judah Folkman that the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis could control tumor growth. It has been suggested that biomarkers of angiogenesis would greatly facilitate the clinical development of antiangiogenic therapies. For these four drugs, the pharmacodynamic effects observed in early clinical studies were important to corroborate activities, but were not essential for the continuation of clinical development and approval. Furthermore, no validated biomarkers of angiogenesis or antiangiogenesis are available for routine clinical use. Thus, the quest for biomarkers of angiogenesis and their successful use in the development of antiangiogenic therapies are challenges in clinical oncology and translational cancer research. We review critical points resulting from the successful clinical trials, review current biomarkers, and discuss their potential impact on improving the clinical use of available antiangiogenic drugs and the development of new ones.
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