Design of clinical trials of radiation combined with antiangiogenic therapy

Suresh Senan, Egbert F. Smit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical trials showing longer survival when chemotherapy is combined with antiangiogenic agents (AAs) have led to growing interest in designing combined modality protocols that exploit abnormalities in tumor vasculature. Approved agents include bevacizumab, a recombinant monoclonal antibody that binds to vascular endothelial growth factor, and two small molecule multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors of angiogenesis (SU11248 and BAY-43-9006) that have been approved for therapy of renal cancer. Targeting tumor vasculature has a strong biological rationale in radiation therapy, and preclinical studies consistently show an increase in radiosensitization with combined treatment. Preclinical studies indicate that excessive damage to tumor vasculature can result in radioresistance in some situations, and early clinical data suggest that treatment sequencing may be important when combining AAs with radiation. Radiation itself appears to antagonize any hypoxia that can be induced by long-term administration of AAs. The optimal biological doses of AAs with radiotherapy are unknown, and surrogate markers of efficacy remain to be validated. Early clinical trials should therefore include studies designed to identify mechanisms of interaction and increases in tumor hypoxia. This review highlights preclinical and early clinical data that are relevant for clinical trial design. Optimal radiation planning and delivery is required to minimize the volume of irradiated normal organs and to establish safe dose-volume parameters for phase II-III clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-477
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2007


  • Antiangiogenic therapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Hypoxia
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tumor angiogenesis

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