Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

Antiangiogenic gene therapy with soluble VEGFR-1, -2, and -3 reduces the growth of solid human ovarian carcinoma in mice.

PMID 19050699


We studied antiangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic effects of sVEGFR-1 (sFlt-1), sVEGFR-2 (sFlk-1/KDR), and sVEGFR-3 (sFlt-4) gene transfers and their combinations in intraperitoneal ovarian cancer xenograft mice (Balb/c-Anu, n = 55). Gene therapy was initiated when the presence of sizable tumors was confirmed in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer was performed intravenously via tail vein as follows: AdLacZ as a control (group I), AdsFlt-1 (group II), AdsKDR (group III), AdsFlt-4 (group IV) and two combination groups of AdsFlt-1 and AdsFlt-4 (group V) and AdsFlt-1, AdsKDR, and AdsFlt-4 (group VI). Antitumor effectiveness was assessed by sequential MRI, immunohistochemistry, microvessel density, overall tumor growth, and survival time. In combination group VI, intraperitoneal tumors were significantly smaller than in the control group at the end of the follow-up (P < 0.001). Furthermore, in group VI the microvessel density (microvessels/mm(2)) in tumor tissue and the total area of tumors covered by microvessels were significantly smaller than in the controls. One mouse in group V was cured. The combined antiangiogenic gene therapy with soluble VEGFRs reduced tumor growth, tumor vascularity, and ascites formation in ovarian cancer xenografts. The results suggest that the combined antiangiogenic gene therapy is a potential approach for the treatment of ovarian cancer patients.