Increased numbers of small circulating endothelial cells in renal cell cancer patients treated with sunitinib

Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Angiogenesis (Impact Factor: 4.88). 03/2009; 12(1):69-79. DOI: 10.1007/s10456-009-9133-9
Source: PubMed


Mature circulating endothelial cell (CEC) as well as endothelial progenitor populations may reflect the activity of anti-angiogenic agents on tumor neovasculature or even constitute a target for anti-angiogenic therapy. We investigated the behavior of CECs in parallel with hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) in the blood of renal cell cancer patients during sunitinib treatment. We analyzed the kinetics of a specific population of small VEGFR2-expressing CECs (CD45(neg)/CD34(bright)), HPCs (CD45(dim)/CD34(bright)), and monocytes in the blood of 24 renal cell cancer (RCC) patients receiving 50 mg/day of the multitargeted VEGF inhibitor sunitinib, on a 4-week-on/2-week-off schedule. Blood was taken before treatment (C1D1), on C1D14, C1D28, and on C2D1 before the start of cycle 2. Also plasma VEGF and erythropoietin (EPO) were determined. Remarkably, while CD34(bright) HPCs and monocytes decreased during treatment, CD34(bright) CECs increased from 69 cells/ml (C1D1) to 180 cells/ml (C1D14; P = 0.001) and remained high on C1D28. All cell populations recovered to near pre-treatment levels on C2D1. Plasma VEGF and EPO levels were increased on C1D14 and partly normalized to pre-treatment levels on C2D1. In conclusion, opposite kinetics of two circulating CD34(bright) cell populations, HPCs and small CECs, were observed in sunitinib-treated RCC patients. The increase in CECs is likely caused by sunitinib targeting of immature tumor vessels.

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Available from: Gerrit Jan Schuurhuis, Sep 22, 2014
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    • "In human patients administered sunitinib, concentrations of circulating endothelial precursors and plasma VEGF have been shown to increase over time during treatment [20]. Unlike toceranib, sunitinib is generally administered daily for 28 days, followed by a rest period of 14 days, and these concentrations return to baseline during the rest period. "
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    ABSTRACT: The receptor kinase inhibitor toceranib phosphate (Palladia) was approved for use in dogs in 2009 using a dose of 3.25 mg/kg administered every other day. Preliminary data suggests that lower doses of toeceranib may be associated with a reduced adverse event profile while maintaining sufficient drug exposure to provide biologic activity. The purpose of this study was to determine the Cmax of toceranib in dogs with solid tumors receiving 2.5-2.75 mg/kg every other day and to document the adverse events associated with this dose rate. Secondary objectives included determination of plasma VEGF concentrations in treated dogs and response to therapy. Dogs with solid tumors were administered toceranib at an intended target dose ranging from 2.5-2.75 mg/kg every other day and plasma samples were obtained for analysis of toceranib and VEGF plasma concentrations on days 0, 7, 14 and 30 of the study at 6 and 8 hours post drug administration. Additionally, plasma samples were obtained at 0, 1, 2, 6, 8, and 12 hours from dogs on day 30 for confirmation of Cmax. Response to therapy was assessed using standard RECIST criteria and adverse events were characterized using the VCOG-CTCAE. Toceranib administered at doses between 2.4-2.9 mg/kg every other day resulted in an average 6--8 hr plasma concentration ranging from 100--120 ng/ml, well above the 40 ng/ml concentration associated with target inhibition. Plasma VEGF concentrations increased significantly over the 30 day treatment period indicating that VEGFR2 inhibition was likely achieved in the majority of dogs. The lower doses of toceranib used in this study were associated with a substantially reduced adverse event profile compared to the established label dose of 3.25 mg/kg EOD. Doses of toceranib ranging from 2.4-2.9 mg/kg every other day provide drug exposure considered sufficient for target inhibition while resulting in an adverse event profile substantially reduced from that associated with the label dose of toceranib. This lower dose range of toceranib should be considered for future use in dogs with cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · BMC Veterinary Research
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    • "Therefore CECs and/or endothelial progenitor cells are considered biomarkers of vascular damage. Recently published data suggest CECs as prognostic [63] as well as predictive markers for response to anti-angiogenic therapy in prostate [64] and metastatic renal cell cancer [65-67]. However, their application as biomarkers in clinical practice has been limited by the difficulty to reliably detect them by flow cytometry [68]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Single circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or circulating tumor microemboli (CTMs) are potential biomarkers of renal cell cancer (RCC), however studies of CTCs/CTMs in RCC are limited. In this pilot study we aimed to evaluate a novel blood filtration technique suited for cytomorphological classification, immunocytochemical and molecular characterization of filtered, so called circulating non-hematologic cells (CNHCs) - putative CTCs/CTMs - in patients with RCC. Blood of 40 patients with renal tumors was subjected to ScreenCell(R) filtration. CNHCs were classified according to cytomorphological criteria. Immunocytochemical analysis was performed with antibodies against CD45, CD31 and carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX, a RCC marker). DNA of selected CNHCs and respective primary tumors was analysed by array-CGH. CNHC-clusters with malignant or uncertain malignant cytomorphological features - putative CTMs - were negative for CD45, positive for CD31, while only 6% were CAIX positive. Array-CGH revealed that 83% of malignant and uncertain malignant cells did represent with a balanced genome whereas 17% presented genomic DNA imbalances which did not match the aberrations of the primary tumors. Putative single CTCs were negative for CD45, 33% were positive for CD31 and 56% were positive for CAIX. The majority of CNHC-clusters, putative CTMs, retrieved by ScreenCell(R) filtration may be of endothelial origin. Morphological criteria seem to be insufficient to distinguish malignant from non-malignant cells in renal cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of Translational Medicine
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    • "Their clinical significance is still under investigation. Recent studies have observed increased levels of CECs in RCC patients treated with sunitinib, likely caused by the drug targeting of immature tumor vessels [11]. EPCs express CD133, CD34, and VEGFR-2 [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a crucial role in tumor angiogenesis. VEGF expression in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is mostly regulated by hypoxia, predominantly via the hypoxia-induced factor (HIF)/Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) pathway. Advances in our knowledge of VEGF role in tumor angiogenesis, growth, and progression have permitted development of new approaches for the treatment of mRCC, including several agents targeting VEGF and VEGF receptors: tyrosine kinase pathway, serine/threonine kinases, α 5 β 1-integrin, deacetylase, CD70, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), AKT, and phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K). Starting from sorafenib and sunitinib, several targeted therapies have been approved for mRCC treatment, with a long list of agents in course of evaluation, such as tivozanib, cediranib, and VEGF-Trap. Here we illustrate the main steps of tumor angiogenesis process, defining the pertinent therapeutic targets and the efficacy and toxicity profiles of these new promising agents.
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