Effects of a novel immunomodulating agent, FTY720, on tumor growth and angiogenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Joanna W.Y. Ho, Kwan Man, Chris K. Sun, Kin Wah Lee, Ronnie T.P. Poon, Sheung Tat Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential anticancer and antiangiogenic effects of FTY720 on hepatocellular carcinoma. In vitro, chemosensitivity was tested on hepatoma cells, nontumorigenic, immortalized hepatocyte cells, as well as human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Moreover, effect of FTY720 on cell cycle and apoptosis was analyzed. In addition, a number of angiogenesis-associated assays were carried out. The in vivo effect of the drug on hepatocellular carcinoma tumor growth on nude mice was studied. Tissues obtained were analyzed in terms of proliferation, apoptosis, tumor microvessel density, and tumor vascular permeability. Compared with the MIHA cells, the hepatoma cell lines as well as HUVECs were found to be highly sensitive to the drugs in the aspect that FTY720 could induce G1arrest and apoptosis in the hepatoma cells. Furthermore, FTY720 significantly decreased invasion, migration, and capillary tube formation of HUVECs at very low doses. In vivo study showed that tumor growth was significantly suppressed in the FTY720-treated animals, and staining of the tissue sections showed decreased tumor cell proliferation and increased tumor cell apoptosis in the treatment groups. Interestingly, significant reductions in tumor microvessel density and tumor vascular permeability were also found in the FTY720-treated groups. In conclusion, FTY720 not only shows potent antiangiogenic effects but is also cytotoxic toward hepatoma cells. Results from our preclinical study suggest that FTY720 can be selected as a good candidate for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1438
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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