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Cancer Gene Ther. 2008 Dec;15(12):776-86. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2008.43. Epub 2008 Jul 25.

Combination therapy with short interfering RNA vectors against VEGF-C and VEGF-A suppresses lymph node and lung metastasis in a mouse immunocompetent mammary cancer model.

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Division of Basic Medicine I, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan.


Cancer metastasis contributes significantly to cancer mortality and is facilitated by lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and VEGF-A are involved in lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. To inhibit metastasis, combination therapy with vector-based small interfering RNA (siRNA) against VEGF-C and/or VEGF-A was conducted on murine metastatic mammary cancer. Syngeneic, inoculated, metastatic mammary cancers received direct intratumoral injection of plasmid siRNA vector targeting VEGF-C (psiRNA-VEGF-C), VEGF-A (psiRNA-VEGF-A), both VEGF-C and VEGF-A (both psiRNA-VEGF-C and psiRNA-VEGF-A vectors injected, referred to as the psiRNA-VEGF-C+A group) or a scrambled sequence (psiRNA-SCR) as control, once a week for 8 weeks. Gene electrotransfer was performed on the tumors after each injection. Tumor volume was significantly lower in the psiRNA-VEGF-A and the psiRNA-VEGF-C+A groups throughout the study. Lymph node metastasis was significantly less frequent in all therapeutic groups, whereas the multiplicity of lung metastases was significantly lower in the psiRNA-VEGF-C+A group only. All siRNA therapeutic groups showed a significant reduction in the number of dilated lymphatic vessels containing intraluminal cancer cells and microvessel density. Our data suggest that specific silencing of the VEGF-C or VEGF-A gene alone can inhibit lymph node metastasis. However, combination siRNA therapy targeting both VEGF-C and VEGF-A inhibits both lymph node and lung metastasis, rendering this combined therapy more beneficial than either alone. The observed anti-metastatic activity of siRNA-expressing vectors targeting VEGF-C or VEGF-A may be of high clinical significance in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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