Suramin inhibits tumour growth and neoangiogenesis by blocking several growth factor receptors. In this study the toxicity and efficacy of intralesional delivery of suramin incorporated in a controlled-release polymer were assessed in a rat 9L tumour model. Initially, the toxicity of the compound was evaluated in adult Fisher 344 rats. The animals were intracerebrally implanted with an ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer. These experiments showed early toxicity in the rats implanted with a 50% load-polymer and 100% mortality within 48 h, whereas in rats implanted with a 33% load-polymer only transient behavioural changes were observed. In a second experiment the rats were stereotactically implanted with 9L cells in the frontal region. Two days after inoculation of cells, the animals were divided into two groups: one group received a 33% suramin load-biopolymer at the tumour implantation site, while the control group received polymer implants only. The interstitial release of suramin in the brain did not produce any improvement in survival of 9L tumour-bearing rats, with a mean survival of 14.2 ± 1 days for the suramin-treated group versus 13.8 ± 2 for the control group (p = 0.82). We conclude that intralesional polymer-mediated chemotherapy with suramin does not prolong survival in rats with intracerebral 9L tumours.
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