Anti-angiogenic therapy in glioblastoma (GBM) has unfortunately not led to the anticipated improvement in patient prognosis. We here describe how human GBM adapts to bevacizumab treatment at the metabolic level. By performing (13)C6-glucose metabolic flux analysis, we show for the first time that the tumors undergo metabolic re-programming toward anaerobic metabolism, thereby uncoupling glycolysis from oxidative phosphorylation. Following treatment, an increased influx of (13)C6-glucose was observed into the tumors, concomitant to increased lactate levels and a reduction of metabolites associated with the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This was confirmed by increased expression of glycolytic enzymes including pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase in the treated tumors. Interestingly, L-glutamine levels were also reduced. These results were further confirmed by the assessment of in vivo metabolic data obtained by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and positron emission tomography. Moreover, bevacizumab led to a depletion in glutathione levels indicating that the treatment caused oxidative stress in the tumors. Confirming the metabolic flux results, immunohistochemical analysis showed an up-regulation of lactate dehydrogenase in the bevacizumab-treated tumor core as well as in single tumor cells infiltrating the brain, which may explain the increased invasion observed after bevacizumab treatment. These observations were further validated in a panel of eight human GBM patients in which paired biopsy samples were obtained before and after bevacizumab treatment. Importantly, we show that the GBM adaptation to bevacizumab therapy is not mediated by clonal selection mechanisms, but represents an adaptive response to therapy.
The present study examines the effect of the endogenous neuroendoccrine factor, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), alone or in combination with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), on 4T1 mammary tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. CRF has been detected in breast cancer tissues; however, the biological effects reported in the literature are sparse and variable. We found that exogenously administered CRF significantly reduced tumor growth without influencing angiogenesis or cell death. Furthermore, CRF reduced tumor interstitial fluid pressure (Pif) and potentiated the effect of 5-FU. These results show that CRF has antitumor effect on mammary carcinoma in mice.
Bevacizumab, an antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is a promising, yet controversial, drug in human glioblastoma treatment (GBM). Its effects on tumor burden, recurrence, and vascular physiology are unclear. We therefore determined the tumor response to bevacizumab at the phenotypic, physiological, and molecular level in a clinically relevant intracranial GBM xenograft model derived from patient tumor spheroids. Using anatomical and physiological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we show that bevacizumab causes a strong decrease in contrast enhancement while having only a marginal effect on tumor growth. Interestingly, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI revealed a significant reduction of the vascular supply, as evidenced by a decrease in intratumoral blood flow and volume and, at the morphological level, by a strong reduction of large- and medium-sized blood vessels. Electron microscopy revealed fewer mitochondria in the treated tumor cells. Importantly, this was accompanied by a 68% increase in infiltrating tumor cells in the brain parenchyma. At the molecular level we observed an increase in lactate and alanine metabolites, together with an induction of hypoxia-inducible factor 1? and an activation of the phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase pathway. These data strongly suggest that vascular remodeling induced by anti-VEGF treatment leads to a more hypoxic tumor microenvironment. This favors a metabolic change in the tumor cells toward glycolysis, which leads to enhanced tumor cell invasion into the normal brain. The present work underlines the need to combine anti-angiogenic treatment in GBMs with drugs targeting specific signaling or metabolic pathways linked to the glycolytic phenotype.
Elevation of the interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) of carcinoma is an obstacle in treatment of tumors by chemotherapy and correlates with poor drug uptake. Previous studies have shown that treatment with inhibitors of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling lowers the IFP of tumors and improve chemotherapy. In this study, we investigated whether the combination of PDGFR and VEGFR inhibitors could further reduce the IFP of KAT-4 human carcinoma tumors. The tumor IFP was measured using the wick-in-needle technique. The combination of STI571 and PTK/ZK gave an additive effect on the lowering of the IFP of KAT-4 tumors, but the timing of the treatment was crucial. The lowering of IFP following combination therapy was accompanied by vascular remodeling and decreased vascular leakiness. The effects of the inhibitors on the therapeutic efficiency of Taxol were investigated. Whereas the anti-PDGF and anti-VEGF treatment did not significantly inhibit tumor growth, the inhibitors enhanced the effect of chemotherapy. Despite having an additive effect in decreasing tumor IFP, the combination therapy did not further enhance the effect of chemotherapy. Simultaneous targeting of VEGFR and PDGFR kinase activity may be a useful strategy to decrease tumor IFP, but the timing of the inhibitors should be carefully determined.
Hypoxia is associated with increased resistance to chemo- and radiation-therapy. Hyperoxic treatment (hyperbaric oxygen) has previously been shown to potentiate the effect of some forms of chemotherapy, and this has been ascribed to enhanced cytotoxicity or neovascularisation. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether hyperoxia also enhances any actual uptake of 5FU (5-fluorouracil) into the tumor tissue and if this can be explained by changes in the interstitium and extracellular matrix.
Tumor hypoxia is relevant for tumor growth, metabolism and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We report that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment induced mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) in a dimethyl-alpha-benzantracene induced mammary rat adenocarcinoma model, and the MET was associated with extensive coordinated gene expression changes and less aggressive tumors. One group of tumor bearing rats was exposed to HBO (2 bar, pO(2) = 2 bar, 4 exposures à 90 minutes), whereas the control group was housed under normal atmosphere (1 bar, pO(2) = 0.2 bar). Treatment effects were determined by assessment of tumor growth, tumor vascularisation, tumor cell proliferation, cell death, collagen fibrils and gene expression profile. Tumor growth was significantly reduced (approximately 16%) after HBO treatment compared to day 1 levels, whereas control tumors increased almost 100% in volume. Significant decreases in tumor cell proliferation, tumor blood vessels and collagen fibrils, together with an increase in cell death, are consistent with tumor growth reduction and tumor stroma influence after hyperoxic treatment. Gene expression profiling showed that HBO induced MET. In conclusion, hyperoxia induced MET with coordinated expression of gene modules involved in cell junctions and attachments together with a shift towards non-tumorigenic metabolism. This leads to more differentiated and less aggressive tumors, and indicates that oxygen per se might be an important factor in the "switches" of EMT and MET in vivo. HBO treatment also attenuated tumor growth and changed tumor stroma, by targeting the vascular system, having anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects.
Hypoxia is a critical hallmark of solid tumors and involves enhanced cell survival, angiogenesis, glycolytic metabolism, and metastasis. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment has for centuries been used to improve or cure disorders involving hypoxia and ischemia, by enhancing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the plasma and thereby increasing O(2) delivery to the tissue. Studies on HBO and cancer have up to recently focused on whether enhanced oxygen acts as a cancer promoter or not. As oxygen is believed to be required for all the major processes of wound healing, one feared that the effects of HBO would be applicable to cancer tissue as well and promote cancer growth. Furthermore, one also feared that exposing patients who had been treated for cancer, to HBO, would lead to recurrence. Nevertheless, two systematic reviews on HBO and cancer have concluded that the use of HBO in patients with malignancies is considered safe. To supplement the previous reviews, we have summarized the work performed on HBO and cancer in the period 2004-2012. Based on the present as well as previous reviews, there is no evidence indicating that HBO neither acts as a stimulator of tumor growth nor as an enhancer of recurrence. On the other hand, there is evidence that implies that HBO might have tumor-inhibitory effects in certain cancer subtypes, and we thus strongly believe that we need to expand our knowledge on the effect and the mechanisms behind tumor oxygenation.
Stroma properties affect carcinoma physiology and direct malignant cell development. Here we present data showing that ?(V)?(3) expressed by stromal cells is involved in the control of interstitial fluid pressure (IFP), extracellular volume (ECV) and collagen scaffold architecture in experimental murine carcinoma. IFP was elevated and ECV lowered in syngeneic CT26 colon and LM3 mammary carcinomas grown in integrin ?(3)-deficient compared to wild-type BALB/c mice. Integrin ?(3)-deficiency had no effect on carcinoma growth rate or on vascular morphology and function. Analyses by electron microscopy of carcinomas from integrin ?(3)-deficient mice revealed a coarser and denser collagen network compared to carcinomas in wild-type littermates. Collagen fibers were built from heterogeneous and thicker collagen fibrils in carcinomas from integrin ?(3)-deficient mice. The fibrotic extracellular matrix (ECM) did not correlate with increased macrophage infiltration in integrin ?(3)-deficient mice bearing CT26 tumors, indicating that the fibrotic phenotype was not mediated by increased inflammation. In conclusion, we report that integrin ?(3)-deficiency in tumor stroma led to an elevated IFP and lowered ECV that correlated with a more fibrotic ECM, underlining the role of the collagen network for carcinoma physiology.
The tumor microenvironment is pivotal in tumor progression. Thus, we aimed to develop a mammary tumor model to elucidate molecular characteristics in the stroma versus the tumor cell compartment by global gene expression. Secondly, since tumor hypoxia influences several aspects of tumor pathophysiology, we hypothesized that hyperoxia might have an inhibitory effect on tumor growth per se. Finally, we aimed to identify differences in gene expression and key molecular mechanisms, both in the native state and following treatment.
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