Anti-angiogenic drugs have entered the anticancer drug arsenal, but there is a clear need to identify patients who are likely to benefit from this therapeutic strategy. Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and progenitors (CEPs) have been reported to be modulated in cancer patients. At the preclinical level, CEC and CEP kinetics correlate well with several standard laboratory angiogenesis assays, which cannot be used in humans. At the clinical level, CEC kinetics and viability may correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients treated using anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies. Thus, CEC and CEP measurement has potential as a surrogate marker for monitoring anti-angiogenic treatment/drug activity and helping to determine the optimal biological dosage of anti-angiogenic drugs.
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