Obliteration of the tumor vasculature is an effective means of achieving tumor regression. Antiangiogenic agents have begun to enter cancer clinical trials. Ionizing radiation activates the inflammatory cascade and increases the procoagulative state within blood vessels of both tumors and normal tissues. These responses are mediated through oxidative injury to the endothelium, leading to induction of cell-adhesion molecules and exocytosis of stored proteins from the endothelial cytoplasm. Agents that activate homeostatic responses in the endothelium can enhance thrombosis and vasculitis of irradiated tumor blood vessels. Proinflammatory and prothrombotic biological response modifiers given concurrently with ionizing radiation are known to induce vascular obliteration and necrosis of tumors. Other mechanisms of interaction between antiangiogenic agents and ionizing radiation include the direct cytotoxic effects of these agents. Interactions between drugs and radiation therapy might therefore occur at the level of the vascular endothelium. The importance of this paradigm is that the endothelium might not develop resistance to drugs or radiation because of lessened potential for mutagenesis and clonogenesis. The future design of clinical trials must consider the effects of radiation therapy on the vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
Issue number10 SUPPL. 5
StatePublished - 1999


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