Background: Lymphangiogenic growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-D, are subjects of interest in studies of targeted therapies in lymphedema treatment. Methods and Results: We conducted a systematic review assessing the use of VEGF-D as a targeted therapy in lymphedema treatment. We hypothesized that VEGF-D was a promising therapy to induce lymphangiogenesis. Our search yielded 90 studies in the literature, but only 4 articles fulfilled our study eligibility criteria, and they were all experimental studies using viral gene transfer. The majority of the studies were conducted on small animals (mice) and investigated the effects of VEGF-D on lymph node transfer. All authors agreed about VEGF-D’s lymphangiogenic potential, but they noticed that VEGF-C induced a superior lymphangiogenesis, and one study noticed that VEGF-D induced seroma. Conclusions: The publications assessing the use of VEGF-D as a targeted therapy in lymphedema treatment were able to demonstrate its lymphangiogenic potential. Nonetheless, further studies are still necessary to investigate VEGF-D’s efficacy and safety in lymphedema treatment on patients.
- Growth factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine