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Direct evidence that the VEGF-specific antibody bevacizumab has antivascular effects in human rectal cancer

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 June 2004


The effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) blockade on the vascular biology of human tumors are not known. Here we show here that a single infusion of the VEGF-specific antibody bevacizumab decreases tumor perfusion, vascular volume, microvascular density, interstitial fluid pressure and the number of viable, circulating endothelial and progenitor cells, and increases the fraction of vessels with pericyte coverage in rectal carcinoma patients. These data indicate that VEGF blockade has a direct and rapid antivascular effect in human tumors.

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Figure 1: Effect of treatment on tumors in patients who completed entire combined treatment regimen, and surgery.
Figure 2: Effect of a single injection of bevacizumab on tumor vasculature and FDG uptake.


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This study was supported by two National Cancer Institute grants (R21 CA099237 to C.G.W. and PO1 CA80124 to R.K.J.). D.G.D. is a Cancer Research Institute fellow. R.T.T. is a fellow of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. We thank T. Lee for his contribution to the CT analysis, M. Ancukiewicz, T.P. Padera and W. Strauss for helpful comments, and J. Tooredman for the ELISAs.

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Correspondence to Christopher G Willett or Rakesh K Jain.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Willett, C., Boucher, Y., di Tomaso, E. et al. Direct evidence that the VEGF-specific antibody bevacizumab has antivascular effects in human rectal cancer. Nat Med 10, 145–147 (2004).

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