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Keywords:

  • Combretastatin A-4;
  • Tumor blood flow;
  • Tumor vessel;
  • Solid tumor;
  • Antivascular

The relation between tumor tissue blood flow (tBF) reduction and antitumor effects was investigated. Changes in tBF of normal tissues (liver, kidney cortex, bone marrow and brain cortex) and tumors (Yoshida sarcoma subline, LY80 and Sato lung carcinoma, SLC) due to i.v. administration of AC7700 (1, 3, 10 mg/kg), one of the combretastatin A-4 derivatives, were measured with the hydrogen clearance method. The change in blood flow in tumor microfoci was also observed directly using a rat transparent chamber. Chemotherapy against the solid tumors (LY80, SLC) was performed by administering AC7700 7 times at intervals of 3 days and the effect on the tumor growth, the histological effect, the effect on lymph node metastasis and the survival rate were investigated. Tumor tBF showed a dose-dependent response to AC7700. Although tumor tBF decreased markedly at a dose of 1 mg/kg, it tended to recover partly within several hours. At 10 mg/kg, however, tumor tBF completely stopped within approximately 30 min and never recovered in many regions. The irreversible stoppage of tumor tBF was observed in large s.c. tumors and in microfoci as well. On the other hand, in normal tissues, tBF changes due to AC7700 were not uniform. In the liver, although tBF decreased by approximately 50% at 10 mg/kg AC7700, it recovered within 8 h. In the brain, although the mean maximum reduction was 35%, the blood flow recovered to the original level within 24 h. The blood flow in the kidney cortex did not change at all. In the bone marrow, tBF decreased by approximately 80%. Generally, the blood flow reduction in normal tissues tended to be reversible. The effect on tumor growth and the histological effect were also dependent on the dose of AC7700. The tumor growth was markedly inhibited by 10 mg/kg AC7700 and extensive necrosis was induced. Lymph node metastases were significantly inhibited and survival was prolonged significantly. In the control group, all 8 SLC tumor-bearing rats died of cancer, the presence of which was verified by gross and microscopic evaluation, within 45 days after tumor implantation. On the other hand, in the treated group, 2 of 8 rats recovered completely and survived. No obvious side effects such as body weight loss, anemia or diarrhea were observed at the dose used in this experiment. From these results, we conclude that strong antitumor effects are obtained by stopping tumor tBF irreversibly and by shutting off the nutritional supply into tumor tissue. AC7700 has been demonstrated to be a promising anticancer compound which has such an action.