PURPOSE - Recent studies have demonstrated radiosensitization by inhibiting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Irradiation activates RTKs and their downstream prosurvival molecule, Akt. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which SU6668, an inhibitor of RTKs involved in angiogenic pathways, enhances effects of irradiation.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Western blots were used to determine Akt phosphorylation. Clonogenic assays were performed to determine endothelial survival after combination of SU6668 and irradiation. This combination therapy was also tested in mouse models with Lewis lung carcinoma or glioblastoma multiforme (GL261) for inhibition of tumor growth and tumor vasculature by examining tumor volume, tumor vascular window, and blood flow.
RESULTS - We found that SU6668 inhibited the Akt activation inducible by irradiation. Clonogenic survival of endothelial cells was decreased after the combined therapy compared with radiotherapy alone. In vivo studies demonstrated reduction of tumor vasculature and blood flow. In addition, 21 Gy in 7 fractions given concurrently with SU6668 resulted in tumor growth delay compared to either treatment alone.
CONCLUSION - These data suggest that the combination therapy was more effective in destroying tumor vasculature than either treatment alone. SU6668 augments tumor-suppressive effects of radiotherapy in Lewis lung carcinoma and GL261 xenographs, possibly through reducing the survival of tumor endothelium.