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Intratumoral VEGF nanotrapper reduces gliobastoma vascularization and tumor cell mass
Journal of Controlled Release  (IF9.776),  Pub Date : 2021-09-28, DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.09.031
Flávia Sousa, Ana Isabel Costa-Pereira, Andrea Cruz, Fábio Júnio Ferreira, Marcos Gouveia, José Bessa, Bruno Sarmento, Rui D.M. Travasso, Inês Mendes Pinto

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and invasive malignant brain cancer. GBM is characterized by a dramatic metabolic imbalance leading to increased secretion of the pro-angiogenic factor VEGF and subsequent abnormal tumor vascularization. In 2009, FDA approved the intravenous administration of bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, as a therapeutic agent for patients with GBM. However, the number of systemic side effects and reduced accessibility of bevacizumab to the central nervous system and consequently to the GBM tumor mass limited its effectiveness in improving patient survival. In this study, we combined experimental and computational modelling to quantitatively characterize the dynamics of VEGF secretion and turnover in GBM and in normal brain cells and simultaneous monitoring of vessel growth. We showed that sequestration of VEGF inside GBM cells, can be used as a novel target for improved bevacizumab-based therapy. We have engineered the VEGF nanotrapper, a cargo system that allows cellular uptake of bevacizumab and inhibits VEGF secretion required for angiogenesis activation and development. Here, we show the therapeutic efficacy of this nanocargo in reducing vascularization and tumor cell mass of GBM in vitro and in vivo cancer models.