J Griggs, KM Brindle, JC Metcalfe, SA Hill, GA Smith, DA Beauregard, R Hesketh
Int J Oncol
The requirement for tumour vascularisation to permit the expansion of solid tumours beyond a threshold size of approximately 1 mm diameter has focussed attention on anti-vascular and anti-angiogenic agents for cancer therapy. Combretastatin-A4 (cis CA-4P) is a tubulin-binding agent that is cytotoxic for proliferating endothelial cells in vitro and causes anti-vascular effects in the established tumour vessels of some primary tumours. Preliminary data from Phase I clinical trials indicate that cis CA-4 may also be effective in targeting the vasculature of human tumours. As metastatic disease is the principal cause of mortality in cancer, we have investigated the effects of cis CA-4 on metastatic development using an in vivo model. We show that bolus or continuous administration of cis CA-4P results in potent inhibition of metastases derived from ectopic primary Lewis lung carcinomas in mice whereas the trans CA-4 isomer is without effect. These data further characterise the activity of CA-4 in vivo and suggest that the drug should be evaluated clinically as an anti-metastatic agent.