Purpose: VEGF, EGF, and TGF-α are expressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and play a role in its growth. Vandetanib, a multikinase inhibitor, suppresses the phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and EGF receptor (EGFR). The aim of this study was to clarify the antitumor effect of vandetanib in mouse HCCs.
Experimental Design: We evaluated the effects of vandetanib on proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and three hepatoma cell lines, as well as the phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 and EGFR in these cells. Mice were implanted with hepatoma cells subcutaneously or orthotopically in the liver and treated with 50 or 75 mg/kg vandetanib. We analyzed the effects of treatment on tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, vessel density, phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 and EGFR, and production of VEGF, TGF-α, and EGF in tumor tissues. Adverse events on vandetanib administration were also investigated.
Results: Vandetanib suppressed phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 in HUVECs and EGFR in hepatoma cells and inhibited cell proliferation. In tumor-bearing mice, vandetanib suppressed phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 and EGFR in tumor tissues, significantly reduced tumor vessel density, enhanced tumor cell apoptosis, suppressed tumor growth, improved survival, reduced number of intrahepatic metastases, and upregulated VEGF, TGF-α, and EGF in tumor tissues. Treatment with vandetanib was not associated with serious adverse events, including alanine aminotransferase abnormality, bone marrow suppression, or body weight loss.
Conclusions: The antitumor effects of vandetanib in mice suggest that it is a potentially suitable and safe chemotherapeutic agent for HCCs. Clin Cancer Res; 1–10. ©2012 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received September 20, 2011.
- Revision received April 15, 2012.
- Accepted May 11, 2012.
- ©2012 American Association for Cancer Research.