Improved efficacy of Doxil (STEALTH liposomal doxorubicin) compared to free doxorubicin has been demonstrated in the treatment of several tumor types. We have shown that addition of low-dose tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to systemic Doxil administration dramatically improved tumor response in the highly vascularized rat soft tissue sarcoma BN175. Whether a similar enhanced efficacy can be achieved in less vascularized tumors is uncertain. We therefore examined the effect of systemic administration of Doxil in combination with low-dose TNF in intermediate vascularized osteosarcoma-bearing rats (ROS-1). Small fragments of the osteosarcoma were implanted s.c. in the lower limb. Treatment was started when the tumors reached an average diameter of 1 cm. Rats were treated with five i.v. injections at 4-day intervals with Doxil or doxorubicin and TNF. Systemic treatment with Doxil resulted in a better tumor growth delay than free doxorubicin, but with progressive diseases in all animals. The 3.5-fold augmented accumulation of Doxil compared to free doxorubicin presumably explains the enhanced tumor regression. Addition of low-dose TNF augmented the anti-tumor activity of Doxil, although no increased drug uptake was found compared to Doxil alone. In vitro studies showed that ROS-1 is sensitive to TNF, but systemic treatment with TNF alone did not result in a tumor growth delay. Furthermore, we demonstrated that treatment with Doxil alone or with TNF resulted in massive coagulative necrosis of tumor tissue. In conclusion, combination therapy of Doxil and low-dose TNF seems attractive for the treatment of highly vascularized tumors, but also of intermediate vascularized tumors like the osteosarcoma.

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Keywords Doxil, Doxorubicin, Osteosarcoma, Rat, Systemic treatment, Tumor necrosis factor-α
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Journal Anti-Cancer Drugs
Hoving, S, Seynhaeve, A.L.B, van Tiel, S.T, Eggermont, A.M.M, & ten Hagen, T.L.M. (2005). Addition of low-dose tumor necrosis factor-α to systemic treatment with STEALTH liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) improved anti-tumor activity in osteosarcoma-bearing rats. Anti-Cancer Drugs, 16(6), 667–674. doi:10.1097/00001813-200507000-00012