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Cancer Res. 2000 Sep 1;60(17):4819-24.

Effects of PTK787/ZK 222584, a specific inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, on primary tumor, metastasis, vessel density, and blood flow in a murine renal cell carcinoma model.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Tumor Biology Center, Frieburg, Germany.


Antiangiogenic therapy is a promising new strategy to inhibit tumor growth and formation of metastases. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors, VEGF-receptor 1 (VEGF-R1; FLT-1) and VEGF-R2 (KDR), have been shown to play a major role in tumor angiogenesis. PTK787/ZK 222584, a specific inhibitor of both VEGF-receptor tyrosine kinases, was investigated for its antitumoral and antiangiogenic activity in a murine renal cell carcinoma model. After intrarenal application of the renal carcinoma cells, mice develop a primary tumor and metastases to the lung and to the abdominal lymph nodes. Daily oral therapy with PTK787/ZK 222584 at a dose of 50 mg/kg resulted in a significant decrease of 61 and 67% in primary tumors after 14 and 21 days, respectively. The occurrence of lung metastases was significantly inhibited at both time points (98% reduction and 78% reduction, respectively). After 14 days, no lymph node metastases developed in the PTK787/ZK 222584-treated group, whereas after 21 days of treatment, the lymph node metastases were reduced by 87%. Vessel density in tumor tissues, detected by immunohistochemistry with an anti-CD31 antibody, was significantly decreased by PTK787/ZK 222584. Using color Doppler imaging ultrasound, significant changes in blood flow in the tumor feeding renal artery were found under treatment with PTK787/ZK 222584. Blood flow changes correlated with changes in vessel density but not with tumor volume. The compound was well tolerated in all in vivo experiments and had no significant effects on body weight or general well-being of the animals. This was in contrast to the animals treated with the antiangiogenic agent TNP-470. s.c. therapy with 30 mg/kg TNP-470 every other day had to be discontinued after 13 days because of animal weight loss (>20%) and ataxia. These results demonstrate that PTK787/ZK 222584 is a potent inhibitor of tumor growth, metastases formation, and tumor vascularization in murine renal cell carcinoma. Furthermore, we have been able to demonstrate that color Doppler imaging ultrasound can be used to measure blood flow to a tumor and that flow correlates with vessel density. Thus, this may be a valuable noninvasive method for monitoring the effects of antiangiogenic agents such as PTK787/ZK 222584 on tumor vasculature.

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