Research Papers:

Foretinib inhibits angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and tumor growth of pancreatic cancer in vivo by decreasing VEGFR-2/3 and TIE-2 signaling

Hsiu-Mei Chen _, Chia-Hua Tsai and Wen-Chun Hung

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:14940-14952. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3613

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Hsiu-Mei Chen1, Chia-Hua Tsai1, Wen-Chun Hung1

1National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan 704, Taiwan, Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Wen-Chun Hung, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: foretinib, c-MET, vascular growth factor receptor, TIE-2, LYVE-1

Received: January 29, 2015     Accepted: March 14, 2015     Published: April 01, 2015


Foretinib, a multiple kinase inhibitor undergoing clinical trials, could suppress the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor c-MET and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). In addition, Foretinib may inhibit two critical lymphangiogenic signaling receptors VEGFR-3 and TIE-2. However, the effect of Foretinib on lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in vitro and lymphangiogenesis in vivo is still unknown. We found Foretinib decreased basal- and HGF-induced c-MET activity at low concentrations. However, Foretinib only reduced the proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells at high concentration reflecting the intrinsic chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer cells. Foretinib inhibited VEGF-A, VEGF-C and Angiopoetin-2 (ANG-2)-stimulated tube formation and sprouting of LECs by reducing VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3 and TIE-2 activation and increased apoptosis of LECs. In xenograft animal study, Foretinib suppressed tumor growth by inhibiting proliferation, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Additionally, Foretinib inhibited angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis more significantly and exhibited low detrimental effect in orthotopic animal study. Collectively, we suggested that Foretinib simultaneously inhibits cancer cells and LECs to reduce pancreatic tumor growth in vivo and demonstrated for the first time that Foretinib suppresses angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis by blocking VEGFR-2/3 and TIE-2 signaling.

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