Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 431 - 437 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103221pm
© UPV/EHU Press

Hemangiomas - current therapeutic strategies

Peace Mabeta*,1 and Michael S. Pepper2,3

Departments of 1Physiology and 2Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa and 3Department of Medical Genetics and Development, University Medical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

ABSTRACT Hemangiomas are benign neoplasms of the vasculature frequently encountered in children. Several studies have shown that these tumors are characterized by excessive angiogenesis. Although benign, the lesions can present with complications, and may thus require treatment. There are multiple therapeutic options available for patients with problematic or life threatening hemangiomas, some of which have serious side effects. Randomized clinical trials and evidence-based studies on the efficacy of these treatments is still lacking. The recognition that excessive angiogenesis underlies hemangiogenesis offers an opportunity for the development of safer therapeutic strategies that are based on the inhibition of angiogenesis. We review medical therapies currently employed in the management of hemangiomas and the role of angiogenesis inhibition in hemangioma therapy.


hemangioma, anti-angiogenesis, bleomycin, vincristine, propranolol

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