Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Janet Price, MD

Committee Member

Francisco Esteva, MD

Committee Member

Vicente Valero, MD

Committee Member

Douglas Boyd, MD

Committee Member

Karin Hahn, MD


Effects of Combined Bevacizumab and Paclitaxel on Tumor Interstitial Fluid Pressure in a Preclinical Breast Cancer Model by Ricardo H. Alvarez Several mechanisms of cell resistance are often accountable for unsuccessful chemotherapy against cancer. Another reason, which has received increased attention, is the inefficient transport of anticancer drugs into tumor tissue. These impaired transports of chemotherapy into the tumor have been attributed to abnormal microvasculature and to pathologically increased tumor hypertension also called: interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). The pathophysiological processes leading to elevated tumor IFP are poorly understood. Here, in a preclinical breast cancer model, it is argued that a condition of raised IFP is a major factor in preventing optimal access of systemically administered chemotherapy agents. In our experimental model, we used a GILM2 human breast cancer in xenografts; mice were treated with different doses of paclitaxel –a widely used antimicrotubular agent, and bevacizumab –monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The proposed research project is designed to test the hypothesis that paclitaxel in combination with bevacizumab decreases the tumor IPF by restoring tumor permeability and increasing chemotherapy delivery. We demonstrated that the combination of paclitaxel and bevacizumab produced greater tumor control than either agent given alone and this combination reduced the IFP, producing an increment of 75% of apoptosis compared with the control arm. In addition, the intra-tumor paclitaxel quantification by liquid chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) demonstrated that lower dose of both agents showed a synergistic effect compared with high dose of treatment, where there is no significantly increase of paclitaxel into the tumor. These preclinical results are likely to have broad implications for the utility of anti-angiogenic therapies alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic agents.


insterstitial fluid pressure; chemotherapy; vascular endothelial growth factor



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