Characteristically, most solid tumors exhibit an increased tumor interstitial fluid pressure (TIFP) that directly contributes to the lowered uptake of macromolecular therapeutics into the tumor interstitium. Abnormalities in the tumor-associated lymph vessels are a central brick in the development and prolonged sustaining of an increased TIFP. In the current study, vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) was used to enhance tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis as a new mechanism to actively reduce the TIFP by increased lymphatic drainage of the tumor tissue. Human A431 epidermoid vulva carcinoma cells were inoculated in NMRI nu/nu mice to generate a xenograft mouse model. Seven days after tumor cell injection, VEGF-C was peritumorally injected to induce lymphangiogenesis. Tumor growth and TIFP was lowered significantly over time in VEGF-C-treated tumors in comparison to control or VEGF-A-treated animals. These data demonstrate for the first time that actively induced lymphangiogenesis can lower the TIFP in a xenograft tumor model and apparently reduce tumor growth. This model represents a novel approach to modulate biomechanical properties of the tumor interstitium enabling a lowering of TIFP in vivo.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)