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What are angiogenesis inhibitors?

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Angiogenesis inhibitors are drugs that prevent the development of new blood vessels, says the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Also known as anti-angiogenics, such drugs halt the blood supply to tumors in the treatment of different cancers. By cutting off the oxygen and nutrients transmitted through blood, the drugs disable the tumors from growing and spreading. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of angiogenesis inhibitors for cancer treatment. These drugs are known to have side effects.

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Examples of FDA-approved angiogenesis inhibitors for cancer treatment include bevacizumab (Avastin) and ramucirumab (Cyramza), both administered through injections into veins, notes the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Other angiogenesis inhibitors include everolimus (Afinitor), lenalidomide (Revlimid) and pazopanib (Votrient), all of which are in pill form for oral administration. These drugs usually combine with other treatments against cancer, such as chemotherapy.

Some widespread side effects of angiogenesis inhibitors may range from high blood pressure and rashes to low blood count, diarrhea and fatigue, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Medication may accompany these side effects that vary depending on the drug and patient. In rare instances, bleeding, heart attacks and heart failure, and blood clots might occur. Very rarely, patients using angiogenesis inhibitors experience holes in the intestines, or bowel perforations, that need surgery to repair.

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