The theory that stopping the growth of new blood vessels in order to starve tumors is an attractive one. While it has yet to be proven in practice, a number of anti-angiogenic compounds are in development, although none yet stands out from the pack.

A comparison of anti-angiogenic gene therapy published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week reviews the relative anti-angiogenic properties and effects on tumor growth of several adenoviral-delivered anti-angiogenic proteins. The results clearly indicated that antagonists of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibited tumor growth significantly more than angiostatin or endostatin, but a multitude of factors related to gene therapy may have affected the results.