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Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 1;66(3):1434-45.

Effect of inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor signaling on distribution of extravasated antibodies in tumors.

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Cardiovascular Research Institute, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Department of Anatomy, University of California-San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0130, USA.


Antibodies and other macromolecular therapeutics can gain access to tumor cells via leaky tumor vessels. Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling can reduce the vascularity of tumors and leakiness of surviving vessels, but little is known about how these changes affect the distribution of antibodies within tumors. We addressed this issue by examining the distribution of extravasated antibodies in islet cell tumors of RIP-Tag2 transgenic mice and implanted Lewis lung carcinomas using fluorescence and confocal microscopic imaging. Extravasated nonspecific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and antibodies to fibrin or E-cadherin accumulated in irregular patchy regions of stroma. Fibrin also accumulated in these regions. Anti-E-cadherin antibody, which targets epitopes on tumor cells of RIP-Tag2 adenomas, was the only antibody to achieve detectable levels within tumor cell clusters at 6 hours after i.v. injection. Treatment for 7 days with AG-013736, a potent inhibitor of VEGF signaling, reduced the tumor vascularity by 86%. The overall area density of extravasated IgG/antibodies decreased after treatment but the change was less than the reduction in vascularity and actually increased when expressed per surviving tumor vessel. Accumulation of anti-E-cadherin antibody in tumor cell clusters was similarly affected. The patchy pattern of antibodies in stroma after treatment qualitatively resembled untreated tumors and surprisingly coincided with sleeves of basement membrane left behind after pruning of tumor vessels. Together, the findings suggest that antibody transport increases from surviving tumor vessels after normalization by inhibition of VEGF signaling. Basement membrane sleeves may facilitate this transport. Antibodies preferentially distribute to tumor stroma but also accumulate on tumor cells if binding sites are accessible.

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