Combined VEGFR and MAPK pathway inhibition in angiosarcoma

Michael J. Wagner, Yasmin A. Lyons, Jean H. Siedel, Robert Dood, Archana S. Nagaraja, Monika Haemmerle, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Pritha Chanana, Alexander J. Lazar, Wei Lien Wang, Vinod Ravi, Eric C. Holland, Anil K. Sood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Angiosarcoma is an aggressive malignancy of endothelial cells that carries a high mortality rate. Cytotoxic chemotherapy can elicit clinical responses, but the duration of response is limited. Sequencing reveals multiple mutations in angiogenesis pathways in angiosarcomas, particularly in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. We aimed to determine the biological relevance of these pathways in angiosarcoma. Tissue microarray consisting of clinical formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue archival samples were stained for phospho- extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) with immunohistochemistry. Angiosarcoma cell lines were treated with the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor trametinib, pan-VEGFR inhibitor cediranib, or combined trametinib and cediranib and viability was assessed. Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) was performed to assess multiple oncogenic protein pathways. SVR angiosarcoma cells were grown in vivo and gene expression effects of treatment were assessed with whole exome RNA sequencing. MAPK signaling was found active in over half of clinical angiosarcoma samples. Inhibition of MAPK signaling with the MEK inhibitor trametinib decreased the viability of angiosarcoma cells. Combined inhibition of the VEGF and MAPK pathways with cediranib and trametinib had an additive effect in in vitro models, and a combinatorial effect in an in vivo model. Combined treatment led to smaller tumors than treatment with either agent alone. RNA-seq demonstrated distinct expression signatures between the trametinib treated tumors and those treated with both trametinib and cediranib. These results indicate a clinical study of combined VEGFR and MEK inhibition in angiosarcoma is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9362
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Combined VEGFR and MAPK pathway inhibition in angiosarcoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this