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Int J Cancer. 2002 May 1;99(1):1-6.

Vascular targeting agents enhance chemotherapeutic agent activities in solid tumor therapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


The utility of combining the vascular targeting agents 5,6-dimethyl-xanthenone-4 acetic acid (DMXAA) and combretastatin A-4 disodium phosphate (CA4DP) with the anticancer drugs cisplatin and cyclophosphamide (CP) was evaluated in experimental rodent (KHT sarcoma), human breast (SKBR3) and ovarian (OW-1) tumor models. Doses of the vascular targeting agents that led to rapid vascular shutdown and subsequent extensive central tumor necrosis were identified. Histologic evaluation showed morphologic damage of tumor cells within a few hours after treatment, followed by extensive hemorrhagic necrosis and dose-dependent neoplastic cell death as a result of prolonged ischemia. Whereas these effects were induced by a range of CA4DP doses (10-150 mg/kg), the dose response to DMXAA was extremely steep; doses < or = 15 mg/kg were ineffective and doses > or = 20 mg/kg were toxic. DMXAA also enhanced the tumor cell killing of cisplatin, but doses > 15 mg/kg were required. In contrast, CA4DP increased cisplatin-induced tumor cell killing at all doses studied. This enhancement of cisplatin efficacy was dependent on the sequence and interval between the agents. The greatest effects were achieved when the vascular targeting agents were administered 1-3 hr after cisplatin. When CA4DP (100 mg/kg) or DMXAA (17.5 mg/kg) were administered 1 hr after a range of doses of cisplatin or CP, the tumor cell kill was 10-500-fold greater than that seen with chemotherapy alone. In addition, the inclusion of the antivascular agents did not increase bone marrow stem cell toxicity associated with these anticancer drugs, thus giving rise to a therapeutic gain.

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