Send to

Choose Destination
Transl Oncol. 2013 Feb;6(1):42-50. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Diverse responses to vascular disrupting agent combretastatin a4 phosphate: a comparative study in rats with hepatic and subcutaneous tumor allografts using MRI biomarkers, microangiography, and histopathology.

Author information

Theragnostic Laboratory, Department of Imaging and Pathology, Biomedical Sciences Group, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium ; Molecular Small Animal Imaging Centre (MoSAIC), Biomedical Sciences Group, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.



Differently located tumors of the same origin may exhibit diverse responses to the same therapeutics. To test this hypothesis, we compared the responses of rodent hepatic and subcutaneous engrafts of rhabdomyosarcoma-1 (R1) to a vascular disrupting agent Combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P).


Twelve WAG/Rij rats, each bearing three R1 implanted in the right and left hepatic lobes and subcutaneously in the thoracic region, received CA4P intravenously at 5 mg/kg (n = 6) or solvent (n = 6). Therapeutic responses were compared interindividually and intraindividually among tumors of different sites till 48 hours after injection using in vivo MRI, postmortem digital microangiography, and histopathology.


MRI revealed that the subcutaneous tumors (STs) significantly increased in volume than hepatic tumors (HTs) 48 hours after CA4P (P < .05). Relative to vehicle controls and treated group at baseline, necrosis ratio, apparent diffusion coefficient, and enhancement ratio changed slightly with the STs but significantly with HTs (P < .05) after CA4P treatment. Vessel density derived from microangiography was significantly lower in STs compared to HTs without CA4P treatment. CA4P treatment resulted in decreased vessel density in HTs, while it did not affect vessel density in STs. MRI and microangiography outcomes were supported by histopathologic findings.


MRI and microangiography allowed quantitative comparison of therapeutic responses to CA4P in rats with multifocal tumors. The discovered diverse effects of the same drug on tumors of the same origin but different locations emphasize the presence of cancer heterogeneity and the importance of individualization of drug delivery.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center