The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family members, VEGF-A, placenta growth factor (PlGF), and to a lesser extent VEGF-B, play an essential role in tumor-associated angiogenesis, tissue infiltration, and metastasis formation. Although VEGF-A can activate both VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 membrane receptors, PlGF and VEGF-B exclusively interact with VEGFR- 1. Differently from VEGFR-2, which is involved both in physiological and pathological angiogenesis, in the adult VEGFR-1 is required only for pathological angiogenesis. Besides this role in tumor endothelium, ligand-mediated stimulation of VEGFR-1 expressed in tumor cells may directly induce cell chemotaxis and extracellular matrix invasion. Furthermore, VEGFR-1 activation in myeloid progenitors and tumor-associated macrophages favors cancer immune escape through the release of immunosuppressive cytokines. These properties have prompted a number of preclinical and clinical studies to analyze VEGFR-1 involvement in the metastatic process. The aim of the present review is to highlight the contribution of VEGFs/VEGFR-1 signaling in the progression of different tumor types and to provide an overview of the therapeutic approaches targeting VEGFR-1 currently under investigation.
- Immune escape
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry