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Antiangiogenic compounds interfere with chemotherapy of brain tumors due to vessel normalization.

Posted on: 01/13/2008

Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Jan 9; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles

Antiangiogenic compounds interfere with chemotherapy of brain tumors due to vessel normalization.

Claes A, Wesseling P, Jeuken J, Maass C, Heerschap A, Leenders WP.

Departments of Pathology and Radiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Glioblastomas are highly aggressive primary brain tumors. Curative treatment by surgery and radiotherapy is generally impossible due to the presence of diffusely infiltrating tumor cells. Furthermore, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in infiltrative tumor areas is largely intact, and this hampers chemotherapy as well. The occurrence of angiogenesis in these tumors makes these tumors attractive candidates for antiangiogenic therapies. Because antiangiogenic compounds have been shown to synergize with chemotherapeutic compounds in other tumor types, based on vessel normalization, there is a tendency toward such combination therapies for primary brain tumors also. However, vessel normalization in brain may result in restoration of the BBB with consequences for the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, we investigated this hypothesis. BALB/c nude mice with intracerebral xenografts of the human glioblastoma lines E98 or U87 were subjected to therapy with different dosages of vandetanib (an angiogenesis inhibitor), temozolomide (a DNA alkylating agent), or a combination (n > 8 in each group). Vandetanib selectively inhibited angiogenic growth aspects of glioma and restored the BBB. It did not notably affect diffuse infiltrative growth and survival. Furthermore, vandetanib antagonized the effects of temozolomide presumably by restoration of the BBB and obstruction of chemodistribution to tumor cells. The tumor microenvironment is an extremely important determinant for the response to antiangiogenic therapy. Particularly in brain, antiangiogenic compounds may have adverse effects when combined with chemotherapy. Thus, use of such compounds in neuro-oncology should be reconsidered. [Mol Cancer Ther 2008;7(1):OF1-8].

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