Angiostatin, a proteolytic fragment of plasminogen, inhibits the growth of primary and metastatic tumors by suppressing angiogenesis. When used in combination with ionizing radiation (IR), angiostatin demonstrates potent antitumor synergism, largely caused by inhibition of the tumor microvasculature. We report here the temporal interaction of angiostatin and IR in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) tumors growing in the hind limbs of syngeneic mice. Tumors with an initial mean volume of 510 ± 151 mm3 were treated with IR alone (20 Gy × 2 doses on days 0 and 1), angiostatin alone (25 mg/kg/day divided twice daily) on days 0 through 13, or a combination of the two as follows: (a) IR plus angiostatin (days 0 through 13); (b) IR plus angiostatin (days 0 and 1); and (c) IR followed by angiostatin beginning on the day after IR completion and given daily thereafter (days 2 through 13). By day 14, tumors in untreated control mice had grown to 6110 ± 582 mm3, whereas in mice treated with: (a) IR alone, tumors had grown to 2854 ± 338 mm3 (P < 0.05 compared with untreated controls); and (b) angiostatin alone, tumors had grown to 3666 ± 453 mm3 (P < 0.05 compared with untreated controls). In combined-treatment groups, in mice treated with: (a) IR plus longer-course angiostatin, tumors reached 2022 ± 282 mm3 (P = 0.036 compared with IR alone); (b) IR followed by angiostatin, tumors reached 2677 ± 469 mm3 (P > 0.05 compared with IR alone); and (c) IR plus short-course angiostatin, tumors reached 1032 ± 78 mm3 (P < 0.001 compared with IR alone). These findings demonstrate that the efficacy of experimental radiation therapy is potentiated by brief concomitant exposure of the tumor vasculature to angiostatin.

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Supported in part by National Cancer Institute Grant CA42596.

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