Unité Cytokines et Cancers, Inserm U453, Centre Léon-Bérard, 28, rue Laennec, 69373 Lyon cedex 08
In 2002, new developments in anti-angiogenic strategies encompassed two main aspects. Firstly, essential improvements were made in the field of methodology : novel techniques permitted to measure directly on patients the biological effects induced by anti-angiogenic treatments in the course of clinical trials. Secondly, results of the first phase I trials of endostatin, one of the most awaited anti-angiogenic drugs, were published. These studies proved that endostatin was not toxic and that doses equivalent to the one effective in animals could safely be used in man, but efficacy results were not up to expectations. On the other hand, treatment targeting the VEGF pathway, and especially humanised anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, had promising results. Further clinical trials are needed to gain clear insight into the precise role of those promising strategies for the management of solid tumours.