Malignant ascites is common in various types of cancers and is difficult to manage. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has a pivotal role in malignant ascites. The matrix protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVMP) has been shown to inhibit host gene expression and induce the apoptosis of cancer cells. The present study was designed to determine whether VSVMP suppresses the formation of ascites in ascites-producing peritoneal carcinomatosis. BALB/c female mice, 6-8 weeks old, bearing peritoneal tumors of H22 or MethA cells received an intraperitoneal administration of 50 μg VSVMP/250 μg liposome complexes, 50 μg empty plasmid/250 μg liposome complexes or 0.9% NaCl solution, respectively, every 2 days for 3 weeks. Administration of VSVMP resulted in a significant inhibition in ascites formation, improvement in health condition and prolonged survival of the treated mice. Decreased peritoneum osmolarity and reduced tumor vascularity coincided with dramatic reductions in the VEGF level in ascites fluid and plasma. Examination of floating tumor cells collected from the peritoneal wash revealed an apparently increased number of apoptotic cells and profound downregulation of VEGF mRNA in the VSVMP-treated mice. Our data indicate for the first time that in BALB/c mice bearing H22 or MethA cell peritoneal tumors, VSVMP may inhibit VEGF production and suppress angiogenesis, consequently abolishing ascites formation.
Cancer Gene Therapy advance online publication, 1 March 2013;