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Elevated thymidine phosphorylase has been shown to correlate with increased angiogenesis and poor prognosis in many cancers including transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. In vitro studies have demonstrated that thymidine phosphorylase activity causes cellular oxidative stress and increases secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor. In this study, we show that thymidine phosphorylase activity also augments levels of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha during in vitro hypoxia, and that thymidine phosphorylase activity and hypoxia act in concert to increase vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion. We also demonstrate that thymidine phosphorylase overexpression confers tumorigenicity on an orthotopically implanted transitional cell carcinoma cell line. Administration of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine together with a blocking anti-VEGF antibody abrogates the increase in tumorigenicity. Our results support the increased efficacy of combination approaches to antiangiogenic therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1696 - 1701


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Carcinoma, Transitional Cell, Cell Hypoxia, Neoplasm Transplantation, Oxidative Stress, Rats, Rats, Nude, Reactive Oxygen Species, Thymidine, Thymidine Phosphorylase, Transfection, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Urinary Bladder Neoplasms, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors