Heterogeneous tumor vasculature in retinoblastoma: Implications for vessel targeting therapy

Maria Elena Jockovich, Yolanda Piña, Armando Alegret, Colleen Cebulla, William Feuer, Timothy G. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to correlate tumor size of retinoblastoma tumor samples with blood vessel maturation to assess how these factors may affect vessel targeting therapy. METHODS: Analysis was performed on retinoblastoma tumor specimens (n = 5) enucleated as primary treatment from May 2005 to February 2006. Tumor size was measured as the largest cross sectional area of the tumor, measured during pathologic assessment. Vessel density and heterogeneity was measured by immunohistochemical analysis. Total microvessel density was detected by staining endothelial cells using a lectin from Bandeira simplicifolia; novel vasculature was detected with the endothelial cell marker endoglin (CD105). Blood vessel basement membrane was detected with an antibody against type IV collagen. Vessel maturation was assessed by pericyte recruitment, detected with α smooth muscle actin (α-sma). RESULTS: A statistically significant correlation was detected between tumor burden and age at enucleation (P = 0.008). All retinoblastoma tumor samples harbored a high degree of blood vessel heterogeneity containing both immature neovessels as well as pericyte-committed mature vasculature. There was a statistically significant correlation between type IV collagen and age at enucleation (P = 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a framework for a better understanding of tumor and vessel development in retinoblastoma. Results of this study provide insight into the relationship between age and tumor burden in these tumors. Knowledge of the degree of heterogeneity detected in these tumors will aid in the selection of novel blood vessel targeting strategies for children with this disease and other diseases with pathologic neovascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S81-S86
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood vessel maturation
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Tumor and vessel development
  • Tumor size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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