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Cancer Res. 2010 Aug 1;70(15):6171-80. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0153. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Antiangiogenic agents can increase lymphocyte infiltration into tumor and enhance the effectiveness of adoptive immunotherapy of cancer.

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  • 1Surgery Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1201, USA.


Adoptive cell transfer (ACT)-based immunotherapies can mediate objective cancer regression in animal models and in up to 70% of patients with metastatic melanoma; however, it remains unclear whether the tumor vasculature impedes the egress of tumor-specific T cells, thus hindering this immunotherapy. Disruption of the proangiogenic interaction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with its receptor (VEGFR-2) has been reported to "normalize" tumor vasculature, enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents by increasing their delivery to the tumor intersitium. We thus sought to determine whether disrupting VEGF/VEGFR-2 signaling could enhance the effectiveness of ACT in a murine cancer model. The administration of an antibody against mouse VEGF synergized with ACT to enhance inhibition of established, vascularized, B16 melanoma (P = 0.009) and improve survival (P = 0.003). Additive effects of an antibody against VEGFR-2 in conjunction with ACT were seen in this model (P = 0.013). Anti-VEGF, but not anti-VEGFR-2, antibody significantly increased infiltration of transferred cells into the tumor. Thus, normalization of tumor vasculature through disruption of the VEGF/VEGFR-2 axis can increase extravasation of adoptively transferred T cells into the tumor and improve ACT-based immunotherapy. These studies provide a rationale for the exploration of combining antiangiogenic agents with ACT for the treatment of patients with cancer.

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