Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) is a potent angiogenic agent that binds to two high affinity VEGF receptors (VEGFRs), a process facilitated by the low affinity neuropilin receptors. Although VEGF-A is overexpressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, it is not known whether the in vivo growth of multiple pancreatic cancer cells can be efficiently blocked by VEGF-A sequestration. Experimental Design: Four human pancreatic cancer cell lines were grown s.c. in athymic nude mice. One cell line also was used to generate an orthotopic model of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The consequences of VEGF-A sequestration on tumor growth and metastasis were examined by injecting the mice with a soluble VEGFR chimer (VEGF-Trap) that binds VEGF-A with high affinity. Results: VEGF-Trap, initiated 2 days after tumor cell inoculation, suppressed the s.c. growth of four pancreatic cancer cell lines and markedly decreased tumor microvessel density. Analysis of RNA from tumors generated with T3M4 cells revealed that VEGF-Trap decreased the expression of VEGFR-1 and neuropilin-1 and -2. VEGF-Trap, initiated 3 weeks after tumor implantation, also attenuated intrapancreatic tumor growth and metastasis in an orthotopic model using PANC-1 cells. Conclusions: VEGF-Trap is a potent suppressor of pancreatic tumor growth and metastasis and also may act to attenuate neuropilin-1 and -2 and VEGFR-1 expression. Therefore, VEGF-Trap may represent an exceedingly useful therapeutic modality for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research