Nature communications

Fibrocyte-like cells mediate acquired resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy with bevacizumab.

PMID 26635184


Bevacizumab exerts anti-angiogenic effects in cancer patients by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, its use is still limited due to the development of resistance to the treatment. Such resistance can be regulated by various factors, although the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here we show that bone marrow-derived fibrocyte-like cells, defined as alpha-1 type I collagen-positive and CXCR4-positive cells, contribute to the acquired resistance to bevacizumab. In mouse models of malignant pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer, fibrocyte-like cells mediate the resistance to bevacizumab as the main producer of fibroblast growth factor 2. In clinical specimens of lung cancer, the number of fibrocyte-like cells is significantly increased in bevacizumab-treated tumours, and correlates with the number of treatment cycles, as well as CD31-positive vessels. Our results identify fibrocyte-like cells as a promising cell biomarker and a potential therapeutic target to overcome resistance to anti-VEGF therapy.