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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15;10(24):8728-34.

Combination antiangiogenic and androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: a promising therapeutic approach.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.



Androgen ablation therapy leads to mild regression or stabilization of prostate cancer, followed by progression to the fatal androgen-independent state. Whereas androgen ablation diminishes tumor angiogenesis by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production, androgen-independent disease is marked by androgen-independent VEGF expression. We examined combined androgen ablation and inhibition of VEGF signaling in an androgen-sensitive human prostate cancer xenograft model (LNCaP) that is known to develop androgen-independent growth after androgen ablation.


N-(4-Bromo-2-fluorophenyl)-6-methoxy-7-[(1-methylpiperidin-4-yl)methoxy]quinazolin-4-amine (ZD6474) is an orally active inhibitor of VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase activity, with additional activity against epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. ZD6474 (50 mg/kg/d, per os) was administered to groups of castrated and noncastrated athymic mice bearing established (4-616 mm3) LNCaP xenografts. To evaluate the extent of tumor regrowth after ZD6474, treatment was stopped after 40 days of continuous dosing, and subsequent tumor growth was monitored. Prostate-specific antigen expression was assessed to determine the effect of ZD6474 on androgen-regulated genes.


In comparison with orchiectomy, ZD6474 treatment produced greater tumor growth inhibition (P < 0.001), inducing complete cytostasis for the duration of dosing. An analysis of serum prostate-specific antigen concentration and tumor weight indicated that ZD6474 did not have a direct effect on androgen-related gene expression. Combination therapy (castration plus ZD6474) produced a comparable therapeutic effect to treatment with ZD6474 alone (in noncastrated mice), for the duration of ZD6474 administration. However, when ZD6474 treatment was discontinued, the rate of tumor regrowth was significantly less in the combination group. Tumors from mice receiving combined treatment were also found to be more necrotic than tumors from mice receiving either androgen ablation or ZD6474 alone.


These data indicate that inhibition of VEGF signaling produces a highly significant inhibition of tumor growth in a human androgen-dependent prostate tumor model, which far exceeds that produced by androgen ablation alone. However, when ZD6474 treatment is removed, concurrent androgen ablation produces a greater inhibition of tumor regrowth than is observed in mice without androgen ablation. Increased necrosis observed in tumors from orchiectomized mice receiving ZD6474 also suggests benefit from combining anti-androgen and anti-VEGF signaling approaches.

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