The Story of Angiogenesis Inhibitors in Non–small-cell Lung Cancer: The Past, Present, and Future

Nikhil Atul Shukla, Melissa Noela Yan, Nasser Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The treatment of advanced non–small-lung cancer (NSCLC) has steadily evolved over the past 2 decades, and current therapy includes chemoimmunotherapy or targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Angiogenesis inhibitors were first approved in the mid-2000s in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of NSCLC. The addition of anti-angiogenics to chemotherapy resulted in modest increases in survival when median overall survival was less than 1 year. More recently, the use of anti-angiogenics has fallen out of favor with the advent of checkpoint inhibitors and never-before-seen durable long-term responses. However, we postulate that there is still an important role for anti-angiogenics in this era of targeted therapy and checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of NSCLC. Preclinical studies have shown that combination blockade of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathways leads to synergistic antitumor effects. These results have been replicated in the clinical setting in patients who harbor EGFR mutations, with VEGF inhibitor-TKI dual therapy leading to impressive survival outcomes. Similarly, combination treatment with checkpoint inhibitors and VEGF inhibitors have led to unprecedented survival outcomes in both advanced renal cell cancer as well as NSCLC. In this review, we explore the evolution of anti-angiogenic therapy in advanced NSCLC and discuss the clinical efficacy of angiogenesis inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy, TKI therapy, and checkpoint inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-angiogenic agents
  • EGFR inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • VEGF inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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