The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Proteasomal degradation of topoisomerase I (topoI) is one of the most remarkable cellular phenomena observed in response to camptothecin (CPT). Importantly, the rate of topoI degradation is linked to CPT resistance. Formation of the topoI-DNA-CPT cleavable complex inhibits DNA re-ligation resulting in DNA-double strand break (DSB). The degradation of topoI marks the first step in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP) dependent DNA damage response (DDR). Here, we show that the Ku70/Ku80 heterodimer binds with topoI, and that the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs) phosphorylates topoI on serine 10 (topoI-pS10), which is subsequently ubiquitinated by BRCA1. A higher basal level of topoI-pS10 ensures rapid topoI degradation leading to CPT resistance. Importantly, PTEN regulates DNA-PKcs kinase activity in this pathway and PTEN deletion ensures DNA-PKcs dependent higher topoI-pS10, rapid topoI degradation and CPT resistance.
There is a great need to develop novel approaches to target oncogenic transcription factors with small molecules. Ewing sarcoma is emblematic of this need, as it depends on the continued activity of the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor to maintain the malignant phenotype. We have previously shown that the small molecule trabectedin interferes with EWS-FLI1. Here, we report important mechanistic advances and a second-generation inhibitor to provide insight into the therapeutic targeting of EWS-FLI1. We discovered that trabectedin functionally inactivated EWS-FLI1 by redistributing the protein within the nucleus to the nucleolus. This effect was rooted in the wild-type functions of the EWSR1, compromising the N-terminal half of the chimeric oncoprotein, which is known to be similarly redistributed within the nucleus in the presence of UV light damage. A second-generation trabectedin analogue lurbinectedin (PM01183) caused the same nuclear redistribution of EWS-FLI1, leading to a loss of activity at the promoter, mRNA, and protein levels of expression. Tumor xenograft studies confirmed this effect, and it was increased in combination with irinotecan, leading to tumor regression and replacement of Ewing sarcoma cells with benign fat cells. The net result of combined lurbinectedin and irinotecan treatment was a complete reversal of EWS-FLI1 activity and elimination of established tumors in 30% to 70% of mice after only 11 days of therapy. Our results illustrate the preclinical safety and efficacy of a disease-specific therapy targeting the central oncogenic driver in Ewing sarcoma. Cancer Res; 76(22); 6657-68. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
BACKGROUND - Two arms with FOLFIRI, with or without cetuximab, were initially included in the randomized phase III intergroup clinical trial NCCTG (North Central Cancer Treatment Group) N0147. When other contemporary trials demonstrated no benefit to using irinotecan as adjuvant therapy, the FOLFIRI-containing arms were discontinued. We report the clinical outcomes for patients randomized to FOLFIRI with or without cetuximab.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - After resection, patients were randomized to 12 biweekly cycles of FOLFIRI, with or without cetuximab. KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) mutation status was retrospectively determined in a central lab. The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS). Secondary end points included overall survival (OS) and toxicity.
RESULTS - One hundred and six patients received FOLFIRI and 40 received FOLFIRI plus cetuximab. Median follow-up was 5.95 years (range, 0.1-7.0 years). The addition of cetuximab showed a trend toward improved DFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.26-1.1; P = .09) and OS (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.17-1.16; P = .10) in the overall group, regardless of KRAS status, and in patients with wild type KRAS. Grade ≥ 3 nonhematologic adverse effects were significantly increased in the cetuximab versus FOLFIRI-alone arm (68% vs. 46%; P = .02). Adjuvant FOLFIRI resulted in a 3-year DFS less than that expected for FOLFOX.
CONCLUSION - In this small randomized subset of patients with resected stage III colon cancer, the addition of cetuximab to FOLFIRI was associated with a nonsignificant trend toward improved DFS and OS. Nevertheless, considering the limitations of this analysis, FOLFOX without the addition of a biologic agent remains the standard of care for adjuvant therapy in resected stage III colon cancer.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
RESULTS - We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide the basis and rationale for translating this drug combination to the clinic. In addition, the study highlights an approach that utilizes a targeted agent to interfere with an oncogenic transcription factor and then exploits the resulting changes in gene expression to develop a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
The applicability of a HVGGSSV peptide targeted "nanosponge" drug delivery system for sequential administration of a microtubule inhibitor (paclitaxel) and topoisomerase I inhibitor (camptothecin) was investigated in a lung cancer model. Schedule-dependent combination treatment with nanoparticle paclitaxel (NP PTX) and camptothecin (NP CPT) was studied in vitro using flow cytometry and confocal imaging to analyze changes in cell cycle, microtubule morphology, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. Results showed significant G2/M phase cell cycle arrest, changes in microtubule dynamics that produced increased apoptotic cell death and decreased proliferation with initial exposure to NP PTX, followed by NP CPT in lung cancer cells. In vivo molecular imaging and TEM studies validated HVGGSSV-NP tumor binding at 24 h and confirmed the presence of Nanogold labeled HVGGSSV-NPs in tumor microvascular endothelial cells. Therapeutic efficacy studies conducted with sequential HVGGSSV targeted NP PTX and NP CPT showed 2-fold greater tumor growth delay in combination versus monotherapy treated groups, and 4-fold greater delay compared to untargeted and systemic drug controls. Analytical HPLC/MS methods were used to quantify drug content in tumor tissues at various time points, with significant paclitaxel and camptothecin levels in tumors 2 days postinjection and continued presence of both drugs up to 23 days postinjection. The efficacy of the NP delivery system in sequential treatments was corroborated in both in vitro and in vivo lung cancer models showing increased G2/M phase arrest and microtubule disruption, resulting in enhanced apoptotic cell death, decreased cell proliferation and vascular density.
PURPOSE - To investigate pharmacokinetics (PK) of encapsulated CPT-11, released CPT-11 and the active metabolite SN-38 following administration of IHL-305 and to identify factors that may influence IHL-305 PK.
METHODS - Plasma samples from 39 patients with solid tumors were collected in a phase I study. IHL-305 was administered as a 1 h IV infusion with doses ranging from 3.5 to 210 mg/m(2). Plasma concentrations of encapsulated CPT-11, released CPT-11 and SN-38 were used to develop a population PK model using NONMEM®.
RESULTS - PK of encapsulated CPT-11 was described by 1-compartment model with nonlinear clearance and PK of released CPT-11 was described by a 1-compartment model with linear clearance for all patients. PK of the active metabolite SN-38 was described by a 2-compartment model with linear clearance for all patients. Covariate analysis revealed that gender was a significant covariate for volume of distribution of encapsulated CPT-11. Vencap in male patients is 1.5-fold higher compared with female patients.
CONCLUSIONS - The developed population PK modeling approach is useful to predict PK exposures of encapsulated and released drug and can be applied to the more than 300 other nanoparticle formulations of anticancer agents that are currently in development. The effect of gender on PK of IHL-305 needs to be further evaluated.
Aflibercept, an intravenously administered anti-VEGF and antiplacental growth factor (PlGF) agent, has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have previously received an oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy regimen. In the phase III VELOUR trial, aflibercept plus FOLFIRI statistically significantly prolonged both progression-free survival (PFS; median PFS for the aflibercept plus FOLFIRI arm was 6.90 vs. 4.67 months for the placebo-plus-FOLFIRI arm) and overall survival (median overall survival for the aflibercept-plus-FOLFIRI arm was 13.50 vs. 12.06 months for the placebo plus FOLFIRI arm), but grade 3 or 4 adverse events were more common with the addition of aflibercept. However, the addition of aflibercept to 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) in the phase II AFFIRM trial of first-line treatment of mCRC failed to improve PFS or response rate. As a decoy VEGF receptor, aflibercept (VEGF-Trap) has binding affinity for VEGF-A, VEGF-B, PlGF-1, and PlGF-2, and this is a mechanism of significant interest. Optimal strategies for incorporating aflibercept into treatment regimens that include other anti-VEGF and cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents, as well as development of predictive biomarkers for treatment response, have yet to be defined.
The Ewing sarcoma family of tumors or Ewing sarcoma (ES) is the second most common malignant bone tumor of childhood. The prognosis for localized Ewing sarcoma has improved through the development of intense multimodal therapy over the past several decades. Unfortunately, patients with recurrent or metastatic disease continue to have a poor prognosis. Therefore, a number of complementary approaches are being developed in both the preclinical and clinical arenas to improve these outcomes. In this review, we will discuss efforts to directly target the biologic drivers of this disease and relate these efforts to the experience with several different agents both in the clinic and under development. We will review the data for compounds that have shown excellent activity in the clinic, such as the camptothecins, and summarize the biological data that supports this activity. In addition, we will review the clinical experience with IGF1 targeted agents, ET-743 and epigenetically targeted therapies, the substantial amount of literature that supports their activity in Ewing sarcoma and the challenges remaining translating these therapies to the clinic. Finally, we will highlight recent work aimed at directly targeting the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor with small molecules in Ewing tumors.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Vismodegib, a Hedgehog pathway inhibitor, has preclinical activity in colorectal cancer (CRC) models. This trial assessed the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of adding vismodegib to first-line treatment for metastatic CRC (mCRC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Patients were randomized to receive vismodegib (150 mg/day orally) or placebo, in combination with FOLFOX or FOLFIRI chemotherapy plus bevacizumab (5 mg/kg) every 2 weeks until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Key secondary objectives included evaluation of predictive biomarkers and pharmacokinetic drug interactions.
RESULTS - A total of 199 patients with mCRC were treated on protocol (124 FOLFOX, 75 FOLFIRI). The median PFS hazard ratio (HR) for vismodegib treatment compared with placebo was 1.25 (90% CI: 0.89-1.76; P = 0.28). The overall response rates for placebo-treated and vismodegib-treated patients were 51% (90% CI: 43-60) and 46% (90% CI: 37-55), respectively. No vismodegib-associated benefit was observed in combination with either FOLFOX or FOLFIRI. Increased tumor tissue Hedgehog expression did not predict clinical benefit. Grade 3 to 5 adverse events reported for more than 5% of patients that occurred more frequently in the vismodegib-treated group were fatigue, nausea, asthenia, mucositis, peripheral sensory neuropathy, weight loss, decreased appetite, and dehydration. Vismodegib did not alter the pharmacokinetics of FOLFOX, FOLFIRI, or bevacizumab.
CONCLUSIONS - Vismodegib does not add to the efficacy of standard therapy for mCRC. Compared with placebo, treatment intensity was lower for all regimen components in vismodegib-treated patients, suggesting that combined toxicity may have contributed to lack of efficacy.
PURPOSE - IHL-305 is a novel PEGylated liposome containing irinotecan. This study examined the safety profile and pharmacokinetics of IHL-305 and established the maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose (RP2D).
PATIENTS AND METHODS - In a standard 3 + 3 design, IHL-305 was administered IV on day 1 of a 28-day treatment schedule. Subsequently, a 14-day treatment schedule was also explored. Two patient populations were evaluated separately: Patients with at least one wild-type (wt) allele of UGT1A1 (UDP glucoronosyltransferase 1A1) wt/wt or wt/*28 as one group (referred to as UGT1A1 wt group) and patients with UGT1A1*28 homozygous variant (*28/*28) as another group.
RESULTS - Sixty patients were treated: 42 on the 28-day schedule and 18 on the 14-day schedule. Seven patients were homozygous variant (*28/*28). In the UGT1A1 wt group, the MTD and RP2D of IHL-305 was 160 mg/m(2) every 28 days and 80 mg/m(2) every 14 days. DLTs included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and neutropenia. The most common adverse events were nausea (75 %), vomiting (52 %), diarrhea (62 %), anorexia (57 %), and fatigue (57 %). At the MTD for both schedules, IHL-305 administration resulted in a high and prolonged exposure of sum total irinotecan, released irinotecan, and SN-38 in plasma. One partial response was observed in a patient with breast cancer and eight patients had stable disease for >6 months.
CONCLUSIONS - IHL-305, a novel preparation of irinotecan encapsulated in liposomes, can be safely given to patients in a repeated fashion on a 4- or 2-week dosing schedule.