Purpose: New treatment strategies aimed at damaging tumor vasculature could potentially improve tumor response to radiation therapy. We recently showed that anionic phospholipids, principally phosphatidylserine, are specifically exposed on the luminal surface of tumor blood vessels. Here we tested the hypothesis that radiation therapy can increase phosphatidylserine exposure on lung tumor vasculature, thereby enhancing the antitumor properties of the antiphosphatidylserine antibody 2aG4. Experimental Design: The therapeutic efficacy of radiation therapy plus 2aG4 was tested in nude mice bearing radiation-resistant A549 human lung tumors. Radiation-induced phosphatidylserine exposure on endothelial cells and A549 tumor cells was analyzed by immunofluoresence staining. The mechanism of the enhanced antitumor effect was examined by histology and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity experiments. Results: Focal irradiation of A549 human lung cancer xenografts increased the percentage of tumor vessels with exposed phosphatidylserine from 4% to 26%. Treatment of mice bearing A549 tumors with 2aG4 plus focal radiation therapy inhibited tumor growth by 80% and was superior to radiation therapy or 2aG4 alone (P < 0.01). Combination therapy reduced blood vessel density and enhanced monocyte infiltration into the tumor mass beyond that observed with individual treatments. In vitro, 2aG4 enhanced the ability of macrophages to kill endothelial cells with exposed phosphatidylserine in an Fc′-dependent manner. Conclusion: These results suggest that 2aG4 enhances the antitumor effects of radiation therapy by increasing antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity toward tumor vessels with externalized phosphatidylserine. Bavituximab, a chimeric version of 2aG4 in clinical trials, has the potential to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of radiation therapy in lung cancer patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research