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PURPOSE: The aim of these studies was to evaluate factors that contribute to the selectivity of the novel vascular targeting agent ZD6126. METHODS: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with ZD6126 phenol, and effects on morphology, detachment, and cytotoxicity (sulforhodamine-B dye incorporation) were determined. Hras5-transformed mouse 3T3 fibroblasts were implanted s.c. in athymic nude rats, and effects on the tumor were assessed after either i.v. bolus or 24-h minipump infusion of ZD6126. RESULTS: In vitro, ZD6126 phenol ( approximately 0.1 microm) rapidly (<40 min) destabilized the tubulin cytoskeleton of proliferating endothelial cells, resulting in cell shape change ("rounding up") and cell detachment at noncytotoxic drug concentrations. In vivo, in rats, an i.v. bolus dose of ZD6126 (20 mg/kg) was rapidly broken down to ZD6126 phenol, which has a short plasma elimination half-life ( approximately 1 h). Peak plasma levels of ZD6126 phenol were well above the level required to induce HUVEC morphology changes in vitro, but cytotoxic concentrations were not maintained. A single i.v. bolus dose (50 and 20 mg/kg) of ZD6126 was well tolerated and resulted in extensive central tumor necrosis in the Hras5 model. Administration of ZD6126 using a 24-h s.c. minipump resulted in decreased ( approximately 30-fold) peak plasma levels, but maintained cytotoxic drug levels over 24 h. Infusion of 50 mg/kg ZD6126 over 24 h was not tolerated. Infusion of 20 mg/kg ZD6126 resulted in increased toxicity compared with the i.v. bolus doses of ZD6126 and did not result in any increased tumor necrosis after 24 h. CONCLUSION: ZD6126 phenol induces rapid morphologic changes in HUVECs at noncytotoxic drug levels. These rapid morphologic effects combined with the rapid elimination of ZD6126 phenol contribute to the selective effects of ZD6126 on tumor vasculature at well-tolerated doses.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys

Publication Date





1497 - 1502


3T3 Cells, Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Animals, Cell Division, Cell Line, Transformed, Cells, Cultured, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Endothelium, Vascular, Fibroblasts, Humans, Mice, Necrosis, Neoplasm Transplantation, Neovascularization, Pathologic, Organophosphorus Compounds, Rats, Rats, Nude, Time Factors, Umbilical Veins