Antiangiogenic peptides and proteins: From experimental tools to clinical drugs

Curzio Rüegg*, Meriem Hasmim, Ferdy J. Lejeune, Gian Carlo Alghisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of a 'tumor-associated vasculature', a process referred to as tumor angiogenesis, is a stromal reaction essential for tumor progression. Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis suppresses tumor growth in many experimental models, thereby indicating that tumor-associated vasculature may be a relevant target to inhibit tumor progression. Among the antiangiogenic molecules reported to date many are peptides and proteins. They include cytokines, chemokines, antibodies to vascular growth factors and growth factor receptors, soluble receptors, fragments derived from extracellular matrix proteins and small synthetic peptides. The polypeptide tumor necrosis factor (TNF, Beromun) was the first drug registered for the regional treatment of human cancer, whose mechanisms of action involved selective disruption of the tumor vasculature. More recently, bevacizumab (Avastin), an antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, was approved as the first systemic antiangiogenic drug that had a significant impact on the survival of patients with advanced colorectal cancer, in combination with chemotherapy. Several additional peptides and antibodies with antiangiogenic activity are currently tested in clinical trials for their therapeutic efficacy. Thus, peptides, polypeptides and antibodies are emerging as leading molecules among the plethora of compounds with antiangiogenic activity. In this article, we will review some of these molecules and discuss their mechanism of action and their potential therapeutic use as anticancer agents in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-177
Number of pages23
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody
  • Cancer
  • Lymphangiogenesis
  • Peptide
  • Therapy
  • Tumor angiogenesis


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