ABSTRACT: Brain metastasis has become an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients as the treatment of systemic disease has improved. Brain metastases frequently are highly vascularized, a process driven primarily by VEGF. VEGF mediates numerous changes within the vasculature including endothelial cell retraction and increased permeability, vasodilation, and new vessel formation. Here we describe a xenograft brain metastasis model that mimics the critical steps of metastasis including tumor cell dissemination and vascular adhesion, tumor growth and tumor associated angiogenesis. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was used to evaluate two aspects of the functional response of brain metastasis to the anti-VEGF receptor therapeutic, AZD2171 (Cediranib, RECENTIN). MR tracking of individual cells demonstrated that cediranib did not impede tumor cell extravasation into the brain parenchyma despite evidence that anti-VEGF treatment decreases the permeability of the blood brain barrier. In a second assay, blood volume imaging using ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide revealed that treatment of well-developed brain metastasis with cediranib for 7 days led to a heterogeneous response with respect to individual tumors. Overall, there was a significant average decrease in the tumor vascular bed volume. The majority of large tumors demonstrated substantially reduced central blood volumes relative to normal brain while retaining a rim of elevated blood volume at the tumor brain interface. Small tumors or occasional large tumors displayed a static response. Models and assays such as those described here will be important for designing mechanism-based approaches to the use of anti-angiogenesis therapies for the treatment of brain metastasis.
Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 04/2009; 26(5):403-14. · 3.52 Impact Factor