A number of companies are focusing on VEGF signaling to treat cancers, developing anti-VEGF antibodies that sequester the growth factor, and compounds that inhibit tyrosine kinase signaling by the VEGF receptors, Flt-1 and Flk-1 (VEGFR2). Now a new link in the VEGF pathway may provide both a novel downstream target to prevent tumor-associated angiogenesis and a prognostic marker.

Researchers from Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center published in Nature Medicine evidence that Id1 and Id3, which are proteins that bind to and inhibit activity of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, play a pivotal role in VEGF-induced recruitment of circulating endothelial precursors