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Cancer Res. 2000 Sep 1;60(17):4932-8.

Vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin 8, platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor promote angiogenesis and metastasis in human melanoma xenografts.

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Department of Biophysics, Institute for Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo.


Angiogenesis is a significant prognostic factor in melanoma, but the angiogenic factors controlling the neovascularization are not well defined. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the angiogenesis and metastasis of melanoma are promoted by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin 8 (IL-8), platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF), and/or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Cells from human melanoma lines (A-07, D-12, R-18, and U-25) transplanted to BALB/c nu/nu mice were used as tumor models. Expression of angiogenic factors was studied by ELISA, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. Angiogenesis was assessed by using an intradermal angiogenesis assay. Lung colonization and spontaneous lung metastasis were determined after i.v. and intradermal inoculation of tumor cells, respectively. The specific roles of VEGF, IL-8, PD-ECGF, and bFGF in tumor angiogenesis, lung colonization, and spontaneous metastasis were assessed in mice treated with neutralizing antibody. The melanoma lines expressed multiple angiogenic factors, and each line showed a unique expression pattern. Multiple angiogenic factors promoted angiogenesis in the most angiogenic melanoma lines, whereas angiogenesis in the least angiogenic melanoma lines was possibly promoted solely by VEGF. Tumor growth, lung colonization, and spontaneous metastasis were controlled by the rate of angiogenesis and hence by the angiogenic factors promoting the angiogenesis. Lung colonization and spontaneous metastasis in A-07 were inhibited by treatment with neutralizing antibody against VEGF, IL-8, PD-ECGF, or bFGF. Each of these angiogenic factors may promote metastasis in melanoma, because inhibition of one of them could not be compensated for by the others. Our observations suggest that efficient antiangiogenic treatment of melanoma may require identification and blocking of common functional features of several angiogenic factors.

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