To clarify the therapeutic significance of interrupting tumor blood flow after irradiation, we investigated X-irradiation-induced changes in hemodynamic parameters (blood flow, extravasation and washout of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, and interstitial fluid pressure) in a variant of Yoshida sarcoma, LY80. Tumors in anesthetized male Donryu rats received local irradiation (10 Gy). At 48 h after irradiation, tumor blood flow increased significantly; at 72-96 h after irradiation, a 2-2.5-fold increase was observed. All parameters then consistently showed improved tumor microcirculation, which probably contributed to regrowth of cancer because certain cells survived irradiation. Rats received an intravenous dose (10 mg/kg) of a combretastatin derivative, AC7700 (AVE8062), which interrupts tumor blood flow and disrupts tumor vessels. At all times evaluated after irradiation, AC7700 completely stopped tumor blood flow. Radiotherapy efficacy was significantly enhanced when combined with AC7700: AC7700 given 48 h after irradiation, when tumor blood flow increased significantly, remarkably suppressed tumor regrowth compared with AC7700 given 48 h before irradiation. Also, postirradiation AC7700 completely inhibited not only primary tumor regrowth but also regional lymph node metastases in half of tumor-bearing rats and led to a significant improvement in survival. These results strongly suggest that the combination effect was enhanced via interruption of increased tumor blood flow after irradiation. This therapeutic combination and timing may have important benefits, even in tumors with low sensitivity to either treatment alone, because the effect was considerably greater than additive. Our data thus show that destruction of tumor microcirculation after irradiation is quite effective for preventing cancer recurrence.