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ZD6474 is a novel, orally available inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor kinase insert domain receptor/flk-1 tyrosine kinase activity with additional activity against the epidermal growth factor receptor-1 tyrosine kinase. The aim of this study was to evaluate ZD6474, alone and in combination with gemcitabine, in an orthotopic model of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Nude mice (nine to 10/group) were injected orthotopically with 1x10(6) L3.6pl human pancreatic cancer cells. Eight days later, treatment was initiated with vehicle only, gemcitabine (100 mg/kg intraperitoneal twice weekly), ZD6474 (50 mg/kg oral once daily) or a combination of the two treatments. Animals were killed on day 24 posttreatment initiation. The phosphorylation status level of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and epidermal growth factor receptor as well as the phosphorylation level of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 in different human pancreatic carcinoma cells and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells was analyzed by Western blotting. Compared with controls (1231 mg), the mean weight of treated tumors was reduced to 836, 541 and 308 mg in the gemcitabine, ZD6474 and combination groups, respectively. Lymph node metastasis was significantly reduced in both the ZD6474 alone and combined treatment groups, with 3/10 and 1/5 animals developing metastases, compared with 10/10 and 9/9 in the control and gemcitabine groups (P<0.003 and <0.0003, respectively). Microvessel density and cell proliferation were significantly reduced in the ZD6474 and combined treatment groups (P<0.02). Immunohistochemistry of tumor samples following treatment with ZD6474 resulted in a reduction of the activated and phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor, whereas total epidermal growth factor receptor levels were comparable with control tumors. On the basis of Western blot analysis, ZD6474 provides inhibition of tumor angiogenesis through an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 mechanism and inhibition of cancer cell growth through an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor mechanism. ZD6474 decreased primary pancreatic tumor growth and reduced lymph node and liver metastases compared with controls or gemcitabine alone. Tumor growth was inhibited further in animals receiving ZD6474 and gemcitabine in combination.

Original publication




Journal article


Anticancer Drugs

Publication Date





569 - 579


Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Animals, Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic, Antineoplastic Agents, Blotting, Western, Cell Line, Tumor, Deoxycytidine, Enzyme Inhibitors, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Mice, Mice, Nude, Neoplasm Metastasis, Neoplasm Transplantation, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Piperidines, Quinazolines, Regional Blood Flow, Signal Transduction, Skin, Transplantation, Heterologous, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2