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Cesca M.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Bizzaro F.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Zucchetti M.,Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacology | Giavazzi R.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases
Frontiers in Oncology

Numerous angiogenesis-vascular targeting agents have been admitted to the ranks of cancer therapeutics; most are used in polytherapy regimens. This review looks at recent progress and our own preclinical experience in combining angiogenesis inhibitors, mainly acting on VEGF/VEGFR pathways, and vascular targeting agents with conventional chemotherapy, discussing the factors that determine the outcome of these treatments. Molecular and morphological modifications of the tumor microenvironment associated with drug distribution and activity are reviewed. Modalities to improve drug delivery and strategies for optimizing combination therapy are examined. © 2013 Cesca, Bizzaro, Zucchetti and Giavazzi. Source

Ghilardi C.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Silini A.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Figini S.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Anastasia A.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | And 4 more authors.

Proteases contribute to cancer in many ways, including tumor vascularization and metastasis, and their pharmacological inhibition is a potential anticancer strategy. We report that human endothelial cells (EC) express the trypsinogen 4 isoform of the serine protease 3 (PRSS3), and lack both PRSS2 and PRSS1. Trypsinogen 4 expression was upregulated by the combined action of VEGF-A, FGF-2 and EGF, angiogenic factors representative of the tumor microenvironment. Suppression of trypsinogen 4 expression by siRNA inhibited the angiogenic milieu-induced migration of EC from cancer specimens (tumor-EC), but did not affect EC from normal tissues. We identified tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (TFPI-2), a matrix associated inhibitor of cell motility, as the functional target of trypsinogen 4, which cleaved TFPI-2 and removed it from the matrix put down by tumor-EC. Silencing tumor-EC for trypsinogen 4 accumulated TFPI2 in the matrix. Showing that angiogenic factors stimulate trypsinogen 4 expression, which hydrolyses TFPI-2 favoring a pro-migratory situation, our study suggests a new pathway linking tumor microenvironment signals to endothelial cell migration, which is essential for angiogenesis and blood vessel remodeling. Abolishing trypsinogen 4 functions might be an exploitable strategy as anticancer, particularly anti-vascular, therapy. Source

Rovida A.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Castiglioni V.,University of Milan | Decio A.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | Scarlato V.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastases | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

The development of resistance and progressive disease after treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors is becoming a controversial issue. We investigated the experimental conditions that cause multireceptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKI) to augment metastasis and whether opportune combinations with chemotherapy could counteract this effect. The renal Renca-luc tumor was transplanted orthotopically in the kidney of Balb/c mice, which then were or were not nephrectomized. The Lewis Lung carcinoma (LLC) was transplanted in the tibial muscle of C57/Bl6 mice. Treatment with the RTKI sunitinib started at different stages of tumor progression, mimicking neoadjuvant or adjuvant settings. Combination studies with paclitaxel, doxorubicin, cisplatin, gemcitabine, and topotecan were done on the LLC model, using opportune regimens. In a neoadjuvant setting, sunitinib inhibited Renca-luc tumor growth, prolonging survival despite an increase in lung metastasis; treatment after primary tumor surgery (adjuvant setting) or on established metastasis prolonged survival and decreased metastasis. Sunitinib increased lung metastasis from mice bearing early-stage LLC, but did not affect established metastases (no acceleration) from advanced tumors. Combinations with doxorubicin, topotecan, gemcitabine, but not cisplatin and paclitaxel, counteracted the increase in metastasis from LLC, partly reflecting their antitumor activity. Histology analysis after sunitinib confirmed tumor vascular changes and increased hypoxia. Topotecan at suboptimal daily doses reduced sunitinib-related metastasis, reducing tumor hypoxia. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, as sunitinib, can have adverse malignant effects mainly in the neoadjuvant setting. The addition of chemotherapy might influence metastasis, depending on each drug mechanism of action and its regimen of administration. Mol Cancer Ther; 12(10); 2237-47. © 2013 AACR. Source

Fuso Nerini I.,Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacology | Morosi L.,Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacology | Zucchetti M.,Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacology | Ballerini A.,Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacology | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

We provide an overview of the available information on the distribution of chemotherapeutics in human tumors, highlighting the progress made to assess the heterogeneity of drug concentrations in relation to the complex neoplastic tissue using novel analytical methods, e.g., mass spectrometry imaging. The increase in interstitial fluid pressure due to abnormal vascularization and stiffness of tumor stroma explains the variable and heterogeneous drug concentrations. Therapeutic strategies to enhance tumor drug distribution, thus possibly increasing efficacy, are discussed. Source

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