Specific occlusion of murine and human tumor vasculature by VCAM-1-targeted recombinant fusion proteins

A Dienst, A Grunow, M Unruh, B Rabausch, Jacques Nor, JW Fries, C Gottstein

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BACKGROUND: The tumor vasculature is increasingly recognized as a target for cancer therapy. We developed and evaluated recombinant fusion proteins targeting the coagulation-inducing protein soluble tissue factor (sTF) to the luminal tumor endothelial antigen vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1, CD106). METHODS: We generated fusion proteins consisting of sTF fused to antibody fragments directed against mouse or human VCAM-1 and characterized them in vitro by flow cytometry, surface plasmon resonance, and two-stage coagulation assays. Their therapeutic effects were tested in three human xenograft tumor models: L540rec Hodgkin lymphoma, Colo677 small-cell lung carcinoma, and Colo677/HDMEC small-cell lung carcinoma with human vasculature. Toxicity was analyzed by histologic examination of organs and determination of laboratory blood parameters. RESULTS: The fusion proteins bound VCAM-1 with nanomolar affinities and had the same coagulation activity as an sTF standard. Xenograft tumor-bearing mice treated with fusion protein (FP) alone or in combination with lipopolysaccharide (FP/L) or doxorubicin (FP/D) exhibited tumor-selective necrosis (L540rec tumors: 74% tumor necrosis [95% confidence interval {CI} = 55% to 93%] with FP/L versus 13% tumor necrosis [95% CI = 4% to 22%] with vehicle; Colo677 tumors: 26% [95% CI = 16% to 36%] with FP versus 8% [95% CI = 2% to 14%] with vehicle); tumor growth delay (Colo677/HDMEC: mean tumor weights after 3 days = 42 mg in FP-treated mice versus 71 mg in vehicle-treated mice, difference = 29 mg, 95% CI = 8 to 100, Mann-Whitney P = .008); and some tumor regressions (one of seven FP-treated Colo677 tumor-bearing mice and two of seven FP/D-treated mice). The fusion protein was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Recombinant tissue factor-based fusion proteins directed against an intraluminal tumor endothelial cell marker induce tumor-selective intravascular coagulation, tumor tissue necrosis, and tumor growth delay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-747
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2005


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