Targeting Angiogenesis and Tumor Microenvironment in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Role of Aflibercept
Angiogenesis promotes cancer growth and metastasis. Angiogenesis, the process of developing new blood vessels from preexisting vascular networks, is a well-described mechanism leading to the initiation and maintenance of tumours and the promotion of metastasis at secondary sites. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of ligands and receptors mainly includes VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, placental derived growth factor (PlGF), VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3. The best characterized of the VEGF family members is VEGF-A, whose binding to VEGFR-2 (FLK1) is the predominant mechanism through which tumour cells promote the so-called angiogenic switch.