Blockade of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are promising therapies for cancer. This study assessed the effects of a neutralizing anti-VEGF antibody (A4.6.1) and an MMP inhibitor (BB-94) on pancreatic cancer (PaCa) in vivo. Five million cells of two human PaCa cell lines (AsPC-1 and HPAF-2) were injected subcutaneously into nude mice; 1 mm3 fragments of the resulting tumors were implanted into the pancreas of other mice. Animals were randomized into a control group and three treatment groups: A4.6.1 (100 μg intraperitoneally twice weekly); BB-94 (50 mg/kg every other day); and combination (A4.6.1 plus BB-94). Treatment was started after 3 days and continued for 14 weeks. Tumor volume, local and distant spread (score), and ascites were determined at autopsy. Microvessel density as a parameter of neoangiogenesis was analyzed in CD31-stained tumor sections. Both monotherapies reduced tumor volume (HPAF-2: -89% by A4.6.1 and -75% by BB-94; AsPC-1: -48% by A4.6.1 and -72% by BB-94), spread (HPAF-2: -76% by A4.6.1 and -58% by BB-94; AsPC-1: -32% by A4.6.1 and -54% by BB-94), and microvessel density (HPAF-2: -75% by A4.6.1 and -30% by BB-94; AsPC-1: -59% by A4.6.1 and -30% by BB-94), resulting in a tendency toward increased survival (HPAF-2: 8 of 8 animals by A4.6.1 or BB-94 vs. 4 of 8; AsPC-1: 3 of 8 by A4.6.1, 4 of 8 by BB-94 vs. 1 of 8). Combination therapy yielded additional effects in the HPAF-2 group with regard to tumor volume (-95%) and development of ascites (0 of 8 vs. 2 of 8 by A4.6.1 or BB-94 vs. 5 of 8 control mice). Both VEGF blockade and MMP inhibition reduce primary tumor size, metastasis, and angiogenesis, thereby increasing survival in experimental pancreatic cancer. Combination treatment results in additive effects in moderately differentiated HPAF-2 tumors.
- Matrix metalloproteinases
- Pancreatic cancer
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas