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Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor signalling using cediranib (RECENTIN; AZD2171) enhances radiation response and causes substantial physiological changes in lung tumour xenografts

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steve Wedge


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A number of pre-clinical studies have suggested that blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signalling can be beneficial in combination with radiotherapy. This study investigated the effects of cediranib, a highly potent orally available inhibitor of VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase activity in combination with radiation in Calu-6 lung xenografts. In nude mice, Calu-6 tumours were established and treatments initiated at a volume of 250 mm(3). Tumour-localized radiotherapy was given as three or five daily fractions of 2 Gy. Cediranib (3 mg kg(-1)) was administered 2 h prior to each fraction and continued post radiotherapy (concomitant regimen) or was initiated immediately after the completion of radiotherapy (sequential regimen). The endpoint was the time taken for tumour volume to quadruple (RTV4). Combined treatments resulted in a significantly enhanced growth delay compared with either modality alone. The therapeutic benefit was the same irrespective of the scheduling regimen. Tumour regression was observed post radiotherapy, which was associated with high levels of apoptosis and necrosis, and pronounced antivascular effects in histological samples. The amplified antivascular effect of cediranib when given after radiation suggests that pre-irradiated endothelium is sensitized to cediranib. Concomitant 5-day treatment with both cediranib and radiation reduced vessel density, perfusion and increased in tumour hypoxia. This was not associated with an acquired radioresistance suggesting that the maintenance of cediranib treatment post radiotherapy prevents the contribution of hypoxic cells to tumour regrowth. Collectively, these data support the contention that VEGFR inhibition can enhance radiation response in pre-clinical models and provide a rationale to develop cediranib in combination with radiotherapy in the clinical setting.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Williams KJ, Telfer BA, Shannon AM, Babur M, Stratford IJ, Wedge SR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Radiology

Year: 2008

Volume: 81

Issue: Special issue 1

Pages: S21-S27

ISSN (print): 0007-1285

ISSN (electronic): 1748-880X

Publisher: British Institute of Radiology


DOI: 10.1259/bjr/59853976


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