Mechanisms of disease: angiogenesis in urologic malignancies.
Charlesworth PJS., Harris AL.
Angiogenesis is critical for growth of tumors and their metastasis. In this article we review the literature on studies of angiogenesis pathways and markers for renal cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Overall, there is clear evidence that markers of angiogenesis and expression of angiogenic factors are associated with adverse outcomes in each of these tumor types. Relatively few angiogenic pathways have been investigated so far, although over 50 factors are known to be involved, and little has been studied on the antiangiogenic pathways and their suppression. The failing in many of the studies is small size and lack of suitable statistical analysis. Nevertheless, this review demonstrates the importance of these pathways and the need to develop selection criteria for patients who are candidates for antiangiogenic therapies. On the basis of the expression profiles reported so far, therapies that target vascular endothelial growth factor should be considered for the treatment of renal, prostate and bladder cancers. As most tumors express factors that are involved in multiple angiogenic pathways, further research is needed to determine which are coregulated and what the most common patterns are.