Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of bevacizumab on vasculature and hypoxia in a colorectal tumor model. Nude mice with subcutaneous LS174T tumors were treated with bevacizumab or saline. To assess tumor properties, separate groups of mice were imaged using (18) F-Fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) and (18) F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging before and 2, 6 and 10 days after the start of treatment. Tumors were harvested after imaging to determine hypoxia and vascular density immunohistochemically. The T2 * time increased significantly less in the bevacizumab group. FMISO uptake increased more over time in the control group. Vessel density significantly decreased in the bevacizumab-treated group. The Carbonic anhydrase 9 (CAIX) and glucose uptake transporter 1 (GLUT1) fractions were higher in bevacizumab-treated tumors. However, the hypoxic fraction showed no significant difference. Bevacizumab led to shorter T2 * times and higher GLUT1 and CAIX expression, suggesting an increase in hypoxia and a higher glycolytic rate. This could be a mechanism of resistance to bevacizumab. The increase in hypoxia, however, could not be demonstrated by pimonidazole/FMISO, possibly because distribution of these tracers is hampered by bevacizumab-induced effects on vascular permeability and perfusion.