ZD6474, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with additional activity against epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, inhibits orthotopic growth and angiogenesis of gastric cancer

Marya F McCarty, Jane Wey, Oliver Stoeltzing, Wenbiao Liu, Fan Fan, Corazon Bucana, Paul F Mansfield, Anderson J Ryan, Lee M Ellis
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2004, 3 (9): 1041-8
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) have been strongly implicated in the growth and metastasis of gastric cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ZD6474, an inhibitor of inhibitor of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase with additional activity against EGF receptor (EGFR), on tumor growth and angiogenesis in an orthotopic model of gastric cancer. In vitro, ZD6474 inhibited human umbilical vascular endothelial cell and TMK-1 human gastric tumor cell proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion. EGF-mediated activation of EGFR and Erk-1/2 was decreased in tumor cells after ZD6474 treatment. In addition, VEGF-mediated activation of VEGFR2 and Erk-1/2 was decreased in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells. TMK-1 human gastric adenocarcinoma cells were injected into the gastric wall of nude mice. ZD6474 therapy was initiated on day 10. Mice (n = 14 per group) were treated p.o. with (a) 1% Tween 80 (control), (b) 50 mg/kg/d ZD6474, or (c) 100 mg/kg/d ZD6474. Mice were sacrificed on day 33. Tumors from each group were stained for markers of blood vessels, pericytes, proliferation, and apoptosis. ZD6474 at both 50 and 100 mg/kg/d led to marked inhibition of tumor growth (P < 0.05). ZD6474 reduced tumor cell proliferation by 48% in the 50 mg/kg/d group and 65% in the 100 mg/kg/d group (P < 0.03) and increased tumor cell apoptosis (P < 0.001) in vivo. ZD6474 led to a 69% decrease in microvessel density in the 50 mg/kg/d group (P < 0.001) and a 62% decrease in the 100 mg/kg/d group (P < 0.001). Although microvessel density was decreased by ZD6474, the remaining vessels showed a relatively higher percentage of pericyte coverage (3-fold increase; P < 0.001), perhaps reflecting selective loss of uncovered vessels in the ZD6474 group. In conclusion, therapies such as ZD6474 that target two distinct aspects of tumor growth, angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation, warrant further investigation.

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