Anti-VEGF therapies could have role in treating TB

Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapies could help treat tuberculosis, research finds. In the image, SEM of tuberculosis bacteria.

Tuberculosis (TB) causes nearly 2 million deaths each year. A hallmark of the disease is the presence of pulmonary granulomas, which are morphologically similar to solid cancerous tumours, featuring a hypoxic microenvironment and areas of fibrosis.

New research[1]
reported in PNAS suggests that TB granulomas also have a functionally abnormal vasculature with enhanced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The researchers also showed that bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF drug widely used to treat cancer and eye disease, was able to normalise the granuloma vasculature, improve the delivery of small molecules, and decrease hypoxia in a rabbit model of TB.

The findings provide “a potential avenue to improve delivery and efficacy of current treatment regimens”, the researchers conclude. 



[1] Datta M, Via LE, Kamoun WS et al. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment normalizes tuberculosis granuloma vasculature and improves small molecule delivery. PNAS Early Edition 2015; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1424563112.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 7 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7848;294(7848):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067757

You may also be interested in