Pazopanib radio-sensitization of human sarcoma tumors

Feng Wang, Hongyan Li, Ela Markovsky, Ryan Glass, Elisa de Stanchina, Simon N. Powell, Gary K. Schwartz, Adriana Haimovitz-Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent data in our laboratory indicate that engagement of host-derived microenvironmental elements impact tumor response to single high dose radiation therapy (SDRT). In these studies we showed that microvascular endothelial damage plays a critical role in tumor response as regulator of direct lethal damage of SDRT. Using a genetic model of Acid Sphingomyelinase (ASMase)-deficient mice we showed that activation of this enzyme by SDRT-induced damage in the endothelium is mandatory for tumor cure. ASMase activation triggers ceramide-mediated apoptosis, and therein microvascular dysfunction, which increased the vulnerability of tumor cells to lethal damage by radiation. Angiogenic factors repressed this activity while a monoclonal antibody targeting VEGF, de-repressed ASMase activity and radiosensitized tumor endothelium when delivered immediately prior to SDRT. In this study, we tested the effect of SDRT in combination with the short-acting anti-angiogenic agent, Pazopanib (anti-VEGFR-1/2/3, PDGF-α/β and c-kit), in two xenograft models of human sarcoma. Pre-treatment with a single dose of Pazopanib increased SDRTinduced ASMase activity and endothelial dysfunction in vitro and in vivo, enhancing SDRT tumor cure, and exhibiting critical dependence on timing relative to SDRT exposure, suggesting a mechanism of action identical to that demonstrated for anti- VEGF/VEGFR2 antibodies. These results demonstrate the ability of Pazopanib to shift the response towards tumor cure and could therefore have a significant impact on clinical trial development in combination with SDRT for sarcoma cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9311-9324
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Ceramide
  • Pazopanib
  • Single high dose radiation therapy (SDRT)
  • Tumor angiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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