Escaping Antiangiogenic Therapy: Strategies Employed by Cancer Cells
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Tumor angiogenesis is widely recognized as one of the hallmarks of cancer. Consequently, during the last decades the development and testing of commercial angiogenic inhibitors has been a central focus for both basic and clinical cancer research. While antiangiogenic drugs are now incorporated into standard clinical practice, as with all cancer therapies, tumors can eventually become resistant by employing a variety of strategies to receive nutrients and oxygen in the event of therapeutic assault. Herein, we concentrate and review in detail three of the principal mechanisms of antiangiogenic therapy escape: (1) upregulation of compensatory/alternative pathways for angiogenesis; (2) vasculogenic mimicry; and (3) vessel co-option. We suggest that an understanding of how a cancer cell adapts to antiangiogenic therapy may also parallel the mechanisms employed in the bourgeoning tumor and isolated metastatic cells delivering responsible for residual disease. Finally, we speculate on strategies to adapt antiangiogenic therapy for future clinical uses.