The effect of the immunomodulatory chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide (CTX) on tumor growth was investigated in primary and metastatic intracerebral and subcutaneous rat xenograft models. Nude rats were treated with CTX (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 24 hours before human ovarian carcinoma (SKOV3), small cell lung carcinoma (LX-1 SCLC), and glioma (UW28, U87MG, and U251) tumor cells were inoculated subcutaneously, intraperitoneally, or in the right cerebral hemisphere or were infused into the right internal carotid artery. Tumor development was monitored and recorded. Potential mechanisms were further investigated. Only animals that received both CTX and Matrigel showed consistent growth of subcutaneous tumors. Cyclophosphamide pretreatment increased the percentage (83.3% vs 0%) of animals showing intraperitoneal tumors. In intracerebral implantation tumor models, CTX pretreatment increased the tumor volume and the percentage of animals showing tumors. Cyclophosphamide increased lung carcinoma bone and facial metastases after intra-arterial injection, and 20% of animals showed brain metastases. Cyclophosphamide transiently decreased nude rat white blood cell counts and glutathione concentration, whereas serum vascular endothelial growth factor was significantly elevated. Cyclophosphamide also increased CD31 reactivity, a marker of vascular endothelium, and macrophage (CD68-positive) infiltration into glioma cell-inoculated rat brains. Cyclophosphamide may enhance primary and metastatic tumor growth through multiple mechanisms, including immune modulation, decreased response to oxidative stress, increased tumor vascularization, and increased macrophage infiltration. These findings may be clinically relevant because chemotherapy may predispose human cancer subjects to tumor growth in the brain or other tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research