The impact of extracellular matrix on the chemoresistance of solid tumors--experimental and clinical results of hyaluronidase as additive to cytostatic chemotherapy

Cancer Lett. 1998 Sep 11;131(1):85-99.


Chemoresistance is of outstanding importance for the limited results of chemotherapy in solid tumors. Chemoresistance of multicellular tumor tissues is more pronounced than that of single cells in vivo and in vitro. The enzyme hyaluronidase is able to loosen the cell-cell contact and the interstitial connective tissue and as such, in a number of preclinical and clinical trials, was shown to enhance the efficacy of cytostatic agents. Although proven to be very effective as additive to local chemotherapy, the systemic efficacy is not documented as well. We present a randomized trial done in high-grade astrocytomas with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy with and without hyaluronidase. After very promising pilot results with systemic hyaluronidase in various tumor entities and also astrocytomas, this randomized study failed to show synergy to chemotherapy and radiation therapy in high-grade astrocytomas concerning survival. The promising preclinical data and the rather well documented activity in therapeutic use as additive to local chemotherapy seem to be an adequate motive to further elucidate the complex manner in which hyaluronidase is active in the interstitial tumor matrix and to obtain more information concerning the optimal route of application, the optimal dosage and the spectrum of tumor entities where it is synergistic with cytostatic chemotherapy and perhaps even radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / adverse effects
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Survival Rate


  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase