Tissue oxygen tensions were measured in subcutaneously growing rat 9L gliosarcoma under normal air and carbogen breathing conditions prior to and after i.v. administration of a perflubron emulsion. When these animals were treated with the anti-angiogenic agents TNP-470 and minocycline for 5 days prior to oxygen measurement, tumor hypoxia was decreased compared with untreated tumors. Hypoxia, defined as the percent of pO2 readings < or = 5 mm Hg, was decreased from 71% in untreated air-breathing controls to 34% in animals treated with the anti-angiogenic agents, the perflubron emulsion and carbogen breathing. These effects were manifest in the increased response of the tumor to single-dose (10, 20 and 30 Gy) radiation therapy. Twenty-four hours after treatment with BCNU oxygenation of the tumors was not altered; however, 24 hr after administration of adriamycin oxygenation of the tumors was increased such that hypoxia in adriamycin-treated tumors in animals receiving the perflubron emulsion and carbogen was reduced to 21%. Tumor growth delay in the s.c. tumors was increased by the addition of treatment with the anti-angiogenic agents from day 4 through day 18 post-tumor cell implantation along with BCNU or adriamycin on days 7-11. Administration of the perflubron emulsion and carbogen breathing resulted in increased tumor growth delay with the chemotherapeutic agents alone and in combination with the anti-angiogenic agents. Life span in animals bearing intracranially implanted 9L gliosarcoma progressively increased with administration of the anti-angiogenic agents and then the anti-angiogenic agents and perflubron emulsion/carbogen compared to treatment with BCNU or adriamycin.