Continuous low-dose (metronomic) therapy, based on cyclophosphamide (CTX) combined with thalidomide (Tha), was evaluated on Dunning prostate R3327-AT1 rat tumors. Significantly delayed tumor growth (P < .001) was observed with oral CTX alone at a low dose (metronomic cyclophosphamide or M-CTX; 30 mg/kg per day) or combined with Tha. To investigate dynamic changes in tumor physiology during early stages of treatment, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was applied before and during the M-CTX or M-CTX + Tha therapy. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI revealed significant changes in the tumor center by day 3 (P < .01); by day 7, only a thin peripheral tumor region showed high signal enhancement. There was a significant correlation between poorly enhancing fraction on day 7 and ultimate tumor growth delay (P < .02). The apparent transverse relaxation rate (R2*) showed similar baseline tumor heterogeneity, but no obvious changes with growth or therapy. Histology confirmed substantial necrosis in the tumor center, leaving a thin live peripheral rim. Immunohistochemistry showed a significant increase in vascular endothelial growth factor, and apoptotic tumor and vascular endothelial cells. These results show the efficacy of the metronomic CTX ± Tha for delaying tumor growth and indicate that MRI provides insights into the mode of action and early indication of efficacy.
- Continuous low-dose (metronomic) chemotherapy
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Prostate tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research