• bone metastases;
  • integrins;
  • osteolysis;
  • volumetric computed tomography;
  • dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of inhibiting αvβ3vβ5 integrins by cilengitide in experimentally induced breast cancer bone metastases using noninvasive imaging techniques. For this purpose, nude rats bearing established breast cancer bone metastases were treated with cilengitide, a small molecule inhibitor of αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins (75 mg/kg, five days per week; n = 12 rats) and compared to vehicle-treated control rats (n = 12). In a longitudinal study, conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and flat panel volumetric computed tomography were used to assess the volume of the soft tissue tumor and osteolysis, respectively, and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE-) MRI was performed to determine functional parameters of the tumor vasculature reflecting blood volume and blood vessel permeability. In rats treated with cilengitide, VCT and MRI showed that osteolytic lesions and the respective bone metastatic soft tissue tumors progressed more slowly than in vehicle-treated controls. DCE-MRI indicated a decrease in blood volume and an increase in vessel permeability and immunohistology revealed increased numbers of immature vessels in cilengitide-treated rats compared to vehicle controls. In conclusion, treatment of experimental breast cancer bone metastases with cilengitide resulted in pronounced antiresorptive and antitumor effects, suggesting that αvβ3vβ5 inhibition may be a promising therapeutic approach for bone metastases.