Preclinical impact of bevacizumab on brain and tumor distribution of irinotecan and temozolomide
The recent landmark Phase III clinical trial with a VEGF-specific antibody suggests that antiangiogenic therapy must be combined with cytotoxic therapy for the treatment of solid tumors. However, there are no guidelines for optimal scheduling of these therapies. Here we show that VEGFR2 blockade creates a "normalization window"--a period during which combined radiation therapy gives the best outcome. This window is characterized by an increase in tumor oxygenation, which is known to enhance radiation response. During the normalization window, but not before or after it, VEGFR2 blockade increases pericyte coverage of brain tumor vessels via upregulation of Ang1 and degrades their pathologically thick basement membrane via MMP activation.