Antiangiogenic Treatment Improves Survival In Animal Model Of Ovarian Cancer


Antiangiogenic Treatment Improves Survival In Animal Model Of Ovarian Cancer
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Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal cancer of the female reproductive organs, with more than 200,000 new cases and more than 125,000 deaths each year worldwide. Because symptoms tend to be vague, 80 percent of these cancers are not recognized until the disease has advanced and spread to other parts of the body. The standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer includes high-dose chemotherapy, which often results in debilitating side effects and for which the five-year survival rate is only 35 percent.
 
Now new research in an animal model finds that a novel combination therapy, which couples low-dose chemotherapy with an antiangiogenic treatment, resulted in better survival rates compared with standard therapy. The findings show that the agent, 3TSR, not only led to tumor regression, but also improved tumor blood flow and enabled more efficient delivery of much smaller and less toxic doses of chemotherapy. The study currently appears online in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
 
The researchers conducted a series of experiments in which mouse ovarian cancer cells were injected into an animal model and allowed to grow until they exhibited features similar to patients with advanced disease, namely the spread of small tumors throughout the abdomen and the accumulation of fluid called ascites.
 
The investigators then treated the mice with either intermittent doses of standard high-dose chemotherapy or with more frequent doses of low-dose chemotherapy. In each case, the chemotherapy was either administered on its own or in combination with pretreatment with 3TSR.
 
The end result for the pretreated mice receiving the smaller chemotherapy doses was a smaller tumor, with improved blood supply. The researchers were able to exploit this enhanced blood supply to improve chemotherapy drug delivery to the tumor, with excellent clinical effect. The benefit of this approach is that doctors can create an environment that increases the efficiency of drug delivery, enabling the use of significantly lower doses of the chemotherapeutic agents and thereby reducing the side effects associated with the treatment. The researchers hope that this will soon be tested in clinical trials.