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Neoplasia. 2009 Aug;11(8):812-22.

Increased plasma colloid osmotic pressure facilitates the uptake of therapeutic macromolecules in a xenograft tumor model.

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Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Goethe-University, D-60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.


Elevated tumor interstitial fluid pressure (TIFP) is a characteristic of most solid tumors. Clinically, TIFP may hamper the uptake of chemotherapeutic drugs into the tumor tissue reducing their therapeutic efficacy. In this study, a means of modulating TIFP to increase the flux of macromolecules into tumor tissue is presented, which is based on the rationale that elevated plasma colloid osmotic pressure (COP) pulls water from tumor interstitium lowering the TIFP. Concentrated human serum albumin (20% HSA), used as an agent to enhance COP, reduced the TIFP time-dependently from 8 to 2 mm Hg in human tumor xenograft models bearing A431 epidermoid vulva carcinomas. To evaluate whether this reduction facilitates the uptake of macromolecules, the intratumoral distribution of fluorescently conjugated dextrans (2.5 mg/ml) and cetuximab (2.0 mg/ml) was probed using novel time domain nearinfrared fluorescence imaging. This method permitted discrimination and semiquantification of tumor-accumulated conjugate from background and unspecific probe fluorescence. The coadministration of 20% HSA together with either dextrans or cetuximab was found to lower the TIFP significantly and increase the concentration of the substances within the tumor tissue in comparison to control tumors. Furthermore, combined administration of 20% HSA plus cetuximab reduced the tumor growth significantly in comparison to standard cetuximab treatment. These data demonstrate that increased COP lowers the TIFP within hours and increases the uptake of therapeutic macromolecules into the tumor interstitium leading to reduced tumor growth. This model represents a novel approach to facilitate the delivery of therapeutics into tumor tissue, particularly monoclonal antibodies.

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