Glioblastomas (GBMs) rapidly become refractory to anti-VEGF therapies. We previously demonstrated that ectopic overexpression of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) compromises the benefits of anti-VEGF receptor (VEGFR) treatment in murine GBM models and that circulating Ang-2 levels in GBM patients rebound after an initial decrease following cediranib (a pan-VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor) administration. Here we tested whether dual inhibition of VEGFR/Ang-2 could improve survival in two orthotopic models of GBM, Gl261 and U87. Dual therapy using cediranib and MEDI3617 (an anti-Ang-2-neutralizing antibody) improved survival over each therapy alone by delaying Gl261 growth and increasing U87 necrosis, effectively reducing viable tumor burden. Consistent with their vascular-modulating function, the dual therapies enhanced morphological normalization of vessels. Dual therapy also led to changes in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Inhibition of TAM recruitment using an anti-colony-stimulating factor-1 antibody compromised the survival benefit of dual therapy. Thus, dual inhibition of VEGFR/Ang-2 prolongs survival in preclinical GBM models by reducing tumor burden, improving normalization, and altering TAMs. This approach may represent a potential therapeutic strategy to overcome the limitations of anti-VEGFR monotherapy in GBM patients by integrating the complementary effects of anti-Ang2 treatment on vessels and immune cells.
Keywords: anti-angiogenic therapy; colony-stimulating factor 1; macrophage; tumor immunity; tumor microenvironment.