Antibody-based antiangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic therapies to prevent tumor growth and progression.

  • Monika Bzowska Department of Cell Biochemistry, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland.;
  • Renata Mężyk-Kopeć
  • Tomasz Próchnicki
  • Małgorzata Kulesza
  • Tomasz Klaus
  • Joanna Bereta


Blood and lymphatic vessel formation is an indispensable factor for cancer progression and metastasis. Therefore, various strategies designed to block angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are being investigated in the hope to arrest and reverse tumor development. Monoclonal antibodies, owing to their unequalled diversity and specificity, might be applied to selectively inhibit the pathways that cancer cells utilize to build up a network of blood vessels and lymphatics. Among the possible targets of antibody-based therapies are proangiogenic and prolymphangiogenic growth factors from the VEGF family and the receptors to which they bind (VEGFRs). Here, we present molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis exploited by tumors to progress and metastasise, with examples of antibody-based therapeutic agents directed at interfering with these processes. The expanding knowledge of vascular biology helps to explain some of the problems encountered in such therapies, that arise due to the redundancy in signaling networks controlling the formation of blood and lymphatic vessels, and lead to tumor drug resistance. Nonetheless, combined treatments and treatments focused on newly discovered proangiogenic and prolymphangiogenic factors give hope that more prominent therapeutic effects might be achieved in the future.