PURPOSE Clinical trials of antiangiogenic agents used alone for advanced malignancy have been disappointing but preclinical studies suggest that the addition of radiation therapy could improve antitumor efficacy. To test the hypothesis that antiangiogenic therapy combined with radiation therapy can overcome the limitations of antiangiogenic monotherapy, we studied the effects of endostatin combined with radiation on the growth and vascularization of A431 human epidermoid carcinomas growing intramuscularly in the legs of mice. METHODS AND MATERIALS Mice with established A431 human epidermoid leg tumors were treated with radiation, endostatin, both radiation and endostatin, or vehicle control. The experiment was repeated and mice from each group were killed at 2, 7, and 10 days after irradiation so that tumor tissue could be obtained to further analyze the kinetics of the antitumor, antivascular, and antiangiogenic response to therapy. RESULTS Endostatin enhanced the antitumor effects of radiation, and prolonged disease-free survival was observed in the combined treatment group. Endothelial cell proliferation was increased in tumors after irradiation but was blocked by the concurrent administration of endostatin, and the combination of endostatin with radiation enhanced endothelial cell apoptosis within 48 h after irradiation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 were increased in tumors after irradiation, and this increase was blocked by concurrent administration of endostatin. CONCLUSION These data indicate that endostatin can block tumor revascularization after radiation therapy and thereby augment radioresponse.
S. Itasaka, R. Komaki, R. Herbst
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics