Author(s): Rubenstein JL
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important mediator of the intense angiogenesis which is characteristic of glioblastoma. While genetic manipulation of VEGF/VEGF receptor expression has previously been shown to inhibit glioblastoma growth, to date, no study has examined the efficacy of pharmacologic blockade of VEGF activity as a means to inhibit intracranial growth of human glioblastoma. Using intraperitoneal administration of a neutralizing anti-VEGF antibody, we demonstrate that inhibition of VEGF significantly prolongs survival in athymic rats inoculated in the basal ganglia with G55 human glioblastoma cells. Systemic anti-VEGF inhibition causes decreased tumor vascularity as well as a marked increase in tumor cell apoptosis in intracranial tumors. Although intracranial glioblastoma tumors grow more slowly as a consequence of anti-VEGF treatment, the histologic pattern of growth suggests that these tumors adapt to inhibition of angiogenesis by increased infiltration and cooption of the host vasculature.