Angiogenesis inhibitor drugs
Substances that stop tumors from developing new BLOOD vessels to support their survival. Numerous proteins and enzymes in the body function to encourage or suppress the growth of new blood vessels. Cancerous tumors are among the tissues that produce proteins that foster new blood vessel growth; these blood vessels then deliver to the tumor the nourishment it needs to grow. Cutting off the blood supply starves the tumor, causing its cells to die.
Among the natural angiogenesis inhibitors in the body are the INTERFERONS, which doctors have used in therapeutic forms with some success to slow tumor-related blood vessel growth. Some CHEMOTHERAPY drugs also have a secondary antiangiogenesis effect. In 2004 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first DRUG specifically developed to block angiogenesis, a monoclonal antibody that is called bevacizumab (Avastin).
Angiogenesis inhibition is of therapeutic interest in health conditions other than cancer that result from overgrowth of blood vessels, such as AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (ARMD) and RETINOPATHY of DIABETES. Research into drugs to encourage angiogenesis to restore blood flow to the HEART after HEART ATTACK or in severe ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE led to many advances in angiogenesis inhibition as well.