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Transl Oncol. 2013 Aug 1;6(4):493-503. Print 2013 Aug.

Tumor dynamics in response to antiangiogenic therapy with oral metronomic topotecan and pazopanib in neuroblastoma xenografts.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ; Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Metronomic chemotherapy, combined with targeted antiangiogenic drugs, has demonstrated significant anticancer efficacy in various studies. Though, tumors do acquire resistance. Here, we have investigated the effect of prolonged therapy with oral metronomic topotecan and pazopanib on tumor behavior in a neuroblastoma mouse xenograft model. SK-N-BE(2) xenograft-bearing mice were treated with either of the following regimens (daily, orally): vehicle (control), 150 mg/kg pazopanib, 1.0 mg/kg topotecan, and combination of topotecan and pazopanib. Planned durations of treatment for each regimen were 28, 56, and 80 days or until the end point, after which animals were sacrificed. We found that only combination-treated animals survived until 80 days. Combination halted tumor growth for up to 50 days, after which gradual growth was observed. Unlike single agents, all three durations of combination significantly lowered microvessel densities compared to the control. However, the tumors treated with the combination for 56 and 80 days had higher pericyte coverage compared to control and those treated for 28 days. The proliferative and mitotic indices of combination-treated tumors were higher after 28 days of treatment and comparable after 56 days and 80 days of treatment compared to control. Immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that combination treatment increased the hypoxia and angiogenic expression. Immunohistochemistry for Glut-1 and hexokinase II expression revealed a metabolic switch toward elevated glycolysis in the combination-treated tumors. We conclude that prolonged combination therapy with metronomic topotecan and pazopanib demonstrates sustained antiangiogenic activity but also incurs resistance potentially mediated by elevated glycolysis.

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