Kosugi, M., Miyajima, A., Kikuchi, E. et al. Hum Cell (2007) 20: 1. doi:10.1111/j.1749-0774.2007.00025.x
Several authors have investigated the antitumor activity of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1 R) antagonists, which are widely used as antihypertensive drugs. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the AT1 R antagonist candesartan against bladder cancer. For the study in vitro, human bladder cancer cells (KU-19-19) were cultured with and without angiotensin II (A II) and candesartan, and cell viability and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion were analyzed. Also for the study in vivo, a tumor xenograft model was prepared in nude mice using KU-19-19 cells. Mice were administered candesartan daily by oral gavage, and paclitaxel via intravenous infusion. Microvessel density, VEGF expression, and apoptosis were investigated. Candesartan did not induce direct toxicity in KU-19-19 cells, but VEGF was significantly lower in candesartan-treated cells than in the A II-treated control cells. In mice, candesartan, paclitaxel and candesartan-paclitaxel significantly suppressed tumor growth to 46.0%, 35.8% and 17.3%, respectively, of the tumor volume in the control group, showing that combined treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth compared to the candesartan group. Microvessel density and VEGF were significantly decreased in the candesartan and candesartan-paclitaxel groups compared to the control group. The apoptotic index was significantly increased in the paclitaxel and candesartan-paclitaxel groups compared to the control and candesartan groups. In our experimental model, candesartan prevented bladder cancer growth by inhibiting angiogenesis. Furthermore, combined treatment with candesartan and paclitaxel enhanced paclitaxel-induced cytotoxicity. These results suggest that the AT1 R antagonist candesartan may be a candidate for innovative therapy for bladder cancer.