Local delivery of a synthetic endostatin fragment for the treatment of experimental gliomas

Gustavo Pradilla, Federico G. Legnani, Giovanna Petrangolini, Pierangelo Francescato, Francesco Chillemi, Betty M. Tyler, Sergio M. Gaini, Henry Brem, Alessandro Olivi, Francesco DiMeco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Endostatin is an anti-angiogenic agent that blocks matrix-metalloproteinase-2 and inhibits endothelial cell proliferation. Currently, endostatin is available through recombinant technology, which limits its broader use. In this study, a synthetic endostatin fragment (EF) was analyzed to determine its anti-angiogenic properties when locally delivered by controlled-release polymers and to establish its effect as a treatment for experimental gliomas. METHODS: Cytotoxicity of EF against 9L gliosarcoma and F98 glioma was determined in vitro. EF was loaded into polyanhydride-poly-(bis- [carboxyphenoxy-propane]-sebacic-acid) (pCPP:SA) polymers at increasing concentrations. Pharmacokinetics of the EF/polymer formulations were defined in vitro. Anti-angiogenic properties of the EF/polymer formulations were evaluated in the rat-cornea micropocket assay. Toxicity and efficacy of locally delivered EF polymers either alone or combined with systemic bischloroethylnitrosourea (carmustine) were determined in rats intracranially challenged with 9L gliosarcoma. RESULTS: EF showed scarce cytotoxicity against 9L and F98 in vitro. EF/pCPP:SA formulations showed sustained release by day 19. Mean corneal angiogenesis index 20 days after tumor implantation was 4.5 ± 0.7 for corneas implanted with 40% EF/pCPP:SA compared with controls (8.5 ± 1.3, P = 0.02). Intracranial efficacy studies showed that EF polymers alone did not prolong animal survival. Combination of 40% EF/pCPP:SA polymers with systemic bischloroethylnitrosourea (carmustine) prolonged survival (median survival of 44 d, P = 0.001) and generated 33% long-term survivors. CONCLUSION: Controlled-release polymers can effectively deliver a biologically active EF in a sustained fashion. EF inhibits angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo, and even though EF does not prolong survival as a single agent, it exhibits a synergistic effect when combined with systemic bischloroethylnitrosourea (carmustine) in the intracranial 9L gliosarcoma model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1040
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Brain tumor
  • Controlled-release
  • Endostatin
  • Gliomas
  • Local delivery polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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