Targeting angiogenesis in small cell lung cancer

Michalis Stratigos, Alexios Matikas, Alexandra Voutsina, Dimitrios Mavroudis, Vassilis Georgoulias


Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive and lethal malignancy. Despite high initial response rates to systemic chemotherapy, the disease eventually relapses; further treatment only modestly improves outcomes and overall survival (OS) for patients with extensive stage disease is less than one year. Little progress has been made during the past decades, with no new drugs approved. Consequently, the development of novel strategies is an unmet need. The inhibition of angiogenesis, a defining characteristic of cancer, has demonstrated modest efficacy in several human malignancies, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, results from clinical trials in SCLC have been disappointing, and no anti-angiogenic agent has received regulatory approval due to lack of clinical efficacy. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms responsible for tumor resistance to angiogenic therapy and the simultaneous blockade of multiple elements that play a role in angiogenesis need to be further explored.