A Functional Role for VEGFR1 Expressed in Peripheral Sensory Neurons in Cancer Pain
Authors: Selvaraj D, Gangadharan V, Michalski CW, Kurejova M, Stösser S, Srivastava K, Schweizerhof M, Waltenberger J, Ferrara N, Heppenstall P, Shibuya M, Augustin HG, Kuner R
CellNetworks People: Kuner Rohini
Journal: Cancer Cell. 2015 Jun 8;27(6):780-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2015.04.017

Cancer pain is a debilitating disorder and a primary determinant of the poor quality of life. Here, we report a non-vascular role for ligands of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) family in cancer pain. Tumor-derived VEGF-A, PLGF-2, and VEGF-B augment pain sensitivity through selective activation of VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) expressed in sensory neurons in human cancer and mouse models. Sensory-neuron-specific genetic deletion/silencing or local or systemic blockade of VEGFR1 prevented tumor-induced nerve remodeling and attenuated cancer pain in diverse mouse models in vivo. These findings identify a therapeutic potential for VEGFR1-modifying drugs in cancer pain and suggest a palliative effect for VEGF/VEGFR1-targeting anti-angiogenic tumor therapies.