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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 358472, 9 pages
Review Article

Angiogenesis in Head and Neck Cancer: A Review of the Literature

Division of Medical Oncology, A.O. San Paolo Via di Rudinì 8, 20122 Milan, Italy

Received 1 July 2011; Accepted 10 September 2011

Academic Editor: Arkadiusz Dudek

Copyright © 2012 Codecà Carla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Angiogenesis is a necessary process for tumor growth, progression and diffusion. In the last years many efforts have been made to understand the mechanisms necessary to the formation of new vessels in tumor tissue and how to integrate these findings in the treatment of different type of cancer. Thanks to these studies there are today many anti-angiogenic drugs with established activity in cancer and approved in clinical practice. Head and neck cancer is a common tumor worldwide that often has advanced stage at diagnosis and poor prognosis. Angiogenesis has a well recognized role in head and neck cancer progression and resistance to drugs and radiotherapy and many clinical trials has been conducted with antiangiogenic agents in this disease, even if they often showed limited efficacy. In this review we summarize the main trials published about angiogenesis in head and neck cancer with particular attention to factors involved in this process and the available data on the efficacy of treatment with anti-angiogenic agents in this disease.