Support of a free radical mechanism for enhanced antitumor efficacy of the microtubule disruptor OXi4503

Lori Rice, Christine Pampo, Sharon Lepler, Amyn M. Rojiani, Dietmar W. Siemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Unlike normal blood vessels, the unique characteristics of an expanding, disorganized and leaky tumor vascular network can be targeted for therapeutic gain by vascular disrupting agents (VDAs), which promote rapid and selective collapse of tumor vessels, causing extensive secondary cancer cell death. A hallmark observation following VDA treatment is the survival of neoplastic cells at the tumor periphery. However, comparative studies with the second generation tubulin-binding VDA OXi4503 indicate that the viable rim of tumor tissue remaining following treatment with this agent is significantly smaller than that seen for the lead VDA, combretastatin. OXi4503 is the cis-isomer of CA1P and it has been speculated that this agent's increased antitumor efficacy may be due to its reported metabolism to orthoquinone intermediates leading to the formation of cytotoxic free radicals. To examine this possibility in situ, KHT sarcoma-bearing mice were treated with either the cis- or trans-isomer of CA1P. Since both isomers can form quinone intermediates but only the cis-isomer binds tubulin, such a comparison allows the effects of vascular collapse to be evaluated independently from those caused by the reactive hydroxyl groups. The results showed that the cis-isomer (OXi4503) significantly impaired tumor blood flow leading to secondary tumor cell death and > 95% tumor necrosis 24. h post drug exposure. Treatment with the trans-isomer had no effect on these parameters. However, the combination of the trans-isomer with combretastatin increased the antitumor efficacy of the latter agent to near that of OXi4503. These findings indicate that while the predominant in vivo effect of OXi4503 is clearly due to microtubule collapse and vascular shut-down, the formation of toxic free radicals likely contributes to its enhanced potency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Combretastatin
  • Endothelial cells
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • OXi4503
  • Tubulin-binding agents
  • Vascular disrupting agents
  • Viable rim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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