Inhibition of PDGF receptor signaling in tumor stroma enhances antitumor effect of chemotherapy

Cancer Res. 2002 Oct 1;62(19):5476-84.


Lowering of tumor interstitial hypertension, which acts as a barrier for tumor transvascular transport, has been proposed as a general strategy to enhance tumor uptake and therapeutic effects of anticancer drugs. The tyrosine kinase platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) beta-receptor is one mediator of tumor hypertension. The effects of PDGF antagonists on chemotherapy response were investigated in two tumor models that display PDGF receptor expression restricted to the tumor stroma, and in which PDGF antagonists relieve tumor hypertension. Inhibitory PDGF aptamers and the PDGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor STI571 enhanced the antitumor effect of Taxol on s.c. KAT-4 tumors in SCID mice. Treatment with only PDGF antagonists had no effect on tumor growth. Taxol uptake in tumors was increased by treatment with PDGF antagonists. Cotreatment with PDGF antagonists and Taxol was not associated with antiangiogenic effects, and PDGF antagonists did not enhance the Taxol effect on in vitro growth of KAT-4 cells. STI571 also increased the antitumor effects of 5-fluorouracil on s.c. PROb tumors in syngeneic BDIX rats, without increasing the effect of 5-fluorouracil on cultured PROb cells. Expression of PDGF receptors in tumor stroma, as well as tumor hypertension, occurs in most common solid tumors. Therefore, our results have implications for treatment regimens for large patient groups and merit clinical testing. In conclusion, our study identifies inhibition of PDGF signaling in tumor stroma as a novel, possibly general strategy for enhancement of the therapeutic effects chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Benzamides
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorouracil / pharmacology
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Swine
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzamides
  • Piperazines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Paclitaxel
  • Fluorouracil