Effects of an antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 on survival, tumor vascularity, and apoptosis in a murine model of colon carcinomatosis

Int J Oncol. 2001 Feb;18(2):221-6.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the predominant regulator of colon cancer angiogenesis and is associated with a poor prognosis and the development of metastases. We hypothesized that DC101, an antibody against the VEGF receptor-2 (flk-1), may be efficacious in the therapy of colon cancer peritoneal carcinomatosis in a murine model. BALB/c mice underwent intraperitoneal injection of CT-26 colon cancer cells to generate peritoneal metastases. Mice received control solvent or DC101 for up to 60 days. In parallel studies, mice were sacrificed at sequential time points to determine the effect of DC101 on tumor angiogenesis, tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis, and endothelial cell apoptosis. Mice treated with DC101 demonstrated a 30% increase in mean survival. In addition, DC101 also led to a significant decrease in tumor vascularity, growth and tumor cell proliferation. In sequential studies, anti-VEGF-R therapy led to a progressive increase in endothelial cell apoptosis followed by an increase in tumor cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that anti-flk-1 therapy may prolong survival in patients with colon cancer carcinomatosis. The temporal studies demonstrating that anti-flk-1 therapy lead to an increase in endothelial cell apoptosis that in turn lead to an increase in tumor cell apoptosis confirms the role of VEGF as an endothelial cell survival factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor