August 1st 2007
Integrins have direct effects in stimulating proliferation and preventing apoptosis in cancer cells and mediating proangiogenic interactions between endothelial cells and extracellular matrix. Alterations of expression of various integrins and their receptors have been observed in various cancers in which angiogenesis is known to play a role, including colorectal cancer. Inhibition of specific integrins might thus inhibit both direct effects of integrins on cancer cells and tumor angiogenesis. Inhibitory peptides and anti-integrin monoclonal antibodies are currently being investigated in clinical trials in patients with solid tumors, with early evidence suggesting clinical benefit in disease stabilization with use of an anti-αvβ3 antibody in the settings of colorectal cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Integrin inhibition alone and with other targeted therapeutic approaches should be further investigated in clinical trials in patients with colorectal cancer.