Antiangiogenic treatment enhances photodynamic therapy responsiveness in a mouse mammary carcinoma

A. Ferrario, K. F. Von Tiehl, N. Rucker, M. A. Schwarz, P. S. Gill, C. J. Gomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising cancer treatment that induces localized tumor destruction via the photochemical generation of cytotoxic singlet oxygen. PDT-mediated oxidative stress elicits direct tumor cell damage as well as microvascular injury within exposed tumors. Reduction in vascular perfusion associated with PDT-mediated microvascular injury produces tumor tissue hypoxia. Using a transplantable BA mouse mammary carcinoma, we show that Photofrin-mediated PDT induced expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) subunit of the heterodimeric HIF-1 transcription factor and also increased protein levels of the HIF-1 target gene, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), within treated tumors. HIF-1α and VEGF expression were also observed following tumor clamping, which was used as a positive control for inducing tissue hypoxia. PDT treatment of BA tumor cells grown in culture resulted in a small increase in VEGF expression above basal levels, indicating that PDT-mediated hypoxia and oxidative stress could both be involved in the overexpression of VEGF. Tumor-bearing mice treated with combined antiangiogenic therapy (IM862 or EMAP-II) and PDT had improved tumoricidal responses compared with individual treatments. We also demonstrated that PDT-induced VEGF expression in tumors decreased when either IM862 or EMAP-II was included in the PDT treatment protocol. Our results indicate that combination procedures using antiangiogenic treatments can improve the therapeutic effectiveness of PDT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4066-4069
Number of pages4
JournalCancer research
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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