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Using an ORF kinome screen in MCF-7 cells treated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib plus fulvestrant, we identified FGFR1 as a mechanism of drug resistance. FGFR1-amplified/ER+ breast cancer cells and MCF-7 cells transduced with FGFR1 were resistant to fulvestrant ± ribociclib or palbociclib. This resistance was abrogated by treatment with the FGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) lucitanib. Addition of the FGFR TKI erdafitinib to palbociclib/fulvestrant induced complete responses of FGFR1-amplified/ER+ patient-derived-xenografts. Next generation sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in 34 patients after progression on CDK4/6 inhibitors identified FGFR1/2 amplification or activating mutations in 14/34 (41%) post-progression specimens. Finally, ctDNA from patients enrolled in MONALEESA-2, the registration trial of ribociclib, showed that patients with FGFR1 amplification exhibited a shorter progression-free survival compared to patients with wild type FGFR1. Thus, we propose breast cancers with FGFR pathway alterations should be considered for trials using combinations of ER, CDK4/6 and FGFR antagonists.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the deadliest form of breast cancer because it is more aggressive, diagnosed at later stage and more likely to develop local and systemic recurrence. Many patients do not experience adequate tumor control after current clinical treatments involving surgical removal, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, leading to disease progression and significantly decreased quality of life. Here we report a new combinatory therapy strategy involving cannabinoid-based medicine and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of TNBC. This combinatory therapy targets two proteins upregulated in TNBC: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CBR, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the combined CBR agonist and TSPO-PDT treatment resulted in synergistic inhibition in TNBC cell and tumor growth. This combinatory therapy approach provides new opportunities to treat TNBC with high efficacy. In addition, this study provides new evidence on the therapeutic potential of CBR agonists for cancer.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Increased expression of cytochrome P450 CYP2C9, together with elevated levels of its products epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET), is associated with aggressiveness in cancer. Cytochrome P450 variants and encode proteins with reduced enzymatic activity, and individuals carrying these variants metabolize drugs more slowly than individuals with wild-type , potentially affecting their response to drugs and altering their risk of disease. Although genetic differences in CYP2C9-dependent oxidation of arachidonic acid (AA) have been reported, the roles of CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 in EET biosynthesis and their relevance to disease are unknown. Here, we report that CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 metabolize AA less efficiently than CYP2C9*1 and that they play a role in the progression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) via impaired EET biosynthesis. When injected into mice, NSCLC cells expressing CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 produced lower levels of EETs and developed fewer, smaller, and less vascularized tumors than cells expressing CYP2C9*1. Moreover, endothelial cells expressing these two variants proliferated and migrated less than cells expressing CYP2C*1. Purified CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 exhibited attenuated catalytic efficiency in producing EETs, primarily due to impaired reduction of these two variants by NADPH-P450 reductase. Loss-of-function SNPs within and were associated with improved survival in female cases of NSCLC. Thus, decreased EET biosynthesis represents a novel mechanism whereby CYPC29*2 and CYP2C9*3 exert a direct protective role in NSCLC development. These findings report single nucleotide polymorphisms in the human CYP2C9 genes, and , exert a direct protective role in tumorigenesis by impairing EET biosynthesis. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Small-molecule inhibitors of the mTORC2 kinase (torkinibs) have shown efficacy in early clinical trials. However, the torkinibs under study also inhibit the other mTOR-containing complex mTORC1. While mTORC1/mTORC2 combined inhibition may be beneficial in cancer cells, recent reports describe compensatory cell survival upon mTORC1 inhibition due to loss of negative feedback on PI3K, increased autophagy, and increased macropinocytosis. Genetic models suggest that selective mTORC2 inhibition would be effective in breast cancers, but the lack of selective small-molecule inhibitors of mTORC2 have precluded testing of this hypothesis to date. Here we report the engineering of a nanoparticle-based RNAi therapeutic that can effectively silence the mTORC2 obligate cofactor Rictor. Nanoparticle-based Rictor ablation in HER2-amplified breast tumors was achieved following intratumoral and intravenous delivery, decreasing Akt phosphorylation and increasing tumor cell killing. Selective mTORC2 inhibition , combined with the HER2 inhibitor lapatinib, decreased the growth of HER2-amplified breast cancers to a greater extent than either agent alone, suggesting that mTORC2 promotes lapatinib resistance, but is overcome by mTORC2 inhibition. Importantly, selective mTORC2 inhibition was effective in a triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model, decreasing Akt phosphorylation and tumor growth, consistent with our findings that RICTOR mRNA correlates with worse outcome in patients with basal-like TNBC. Together, our results offer preclinical validation of a novel RNAi delivery platform for therapeutic gene ablation in breast cancer, and they show that mTORC2-selective targeting is feasible and efficacious in this disease setting. This study describes a nanomedicine to effectively inhibit the growth regulatory kinase mTORC2 in a preclinical model of breast cancer, targeting an important pathogenic enzyme in that setting that has been undruggable to date. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Antagonists of MDM2-p53 interaction are emerging anti-cancer drugs utilized in clinical trials for malignancies that rarely mutate p53, including melanoma. We discovered that MDM2-p53 antagonists protect DNA from drug-induced damage in melanoma cells and patient-derived xenografts. Among the tested DNA damaging drugs were various inhibitors of Aurora and Polo-like mitotic kinases, as well as traditional chemotherapy. Mitotic kinase inhibition causes mitotic slippage, DNA re-replication, and polyploidy. Here we show that re-replication of the polyploid genome generates replicative stress which leads to DNA damage. MDM2-p53 antagonists relieve replicative stress via the p53-dependent activation of p21 which inhibits DNA replication. Loss of p21 promoted drug-induced DNA damage in melanoma cells and enhanced anti-tumor activity of therapy combining MDM2 antagonist with mitotic kinase inhibitor in mice. In summary, MDM2 antagonists may reduce DNA damaging effects of anti-cancer drugs if they are administered together, while targeting p21 can improve the efficacy of such combinations.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Constitutive WNT activity drives the growth of various human tumors, including nearly all colorectal cancers (CRCs). Despite this prominence in cancer, no WNT inhibitor is currently approved for use in the clinic largely due to the small number of druggable signaling components in the WNT pathway and the substantial toxicity to normal gastrointestinal tissue. We have shown that pyrvinium, which activates casein kinase 1α (CK1α), is a potent inhibitor of WNT signaling. However, its poor bioavailability limited the ability to test this first-in-class WNT inhibitor in vivo. We characterized a novel small-molecule CK1α activator called SSTC3, which has better pharmacokinetic properties than pyrvinium, and found that it inhibited the growth of CRC xenografts in mice. SSTC3 also attenuated the growth of a patient-derived metastatic CRC xenograft, for which few therapies exist. SSTC3 exhibited minimal gastrointestinal toxicity compared to other classes of WNT inhibitors. Consistent with this observation, we showed that the abundance of the SSTC3 target, CK1α, was decreased in WNT-driven tumors relative to normal gastrointestinal tissue, and knocking down CK1α increased cellular sensitivity to SSTC3. Thus, we propose that distinct CK1α abundance provides an enhanced therapeutic index for pharmacological CK1α activators to target WNT-driven tumors.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Basal-like/triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are among the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, and disproportionally affects young premenopausal women and women of African descent. Patients with TNBC suffer a poor prognosis due in part to a lack of molecularly targeted therapies, which represents a critical barrier for effective treatment. Here, we identify EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase as a clinically relevant target for TNBC. EphA2 expression is enriched in the basal-like molecular subtype in human breast cancers. Loss of EphA2 function in both human and genetically engineered mouse models of TNBC reduced tumor growth in culture and in vivo. Mechanistically, targeting EphA2 impaired cell cycle progression through S-phase via downregulation of c-Myc and stabilization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27/KIP1. A small molecule kinase inhibitor of EphA2 effectively suppressed tumor cell growth in vivo, including TNBC patient-derived xenografts. Thus, our data identify EphA2 as a novel molecular target for TNBC.
We previously reported that single cells from a human colorectal cancer (CRC) cell line (HCA-7) formed either hollow single-layered polarized cysts or solid spiky masses when plated in 3D in type-I collagen. To begin in-depth analyses into whether clonal cysts and spiky masses possessed divergent properties, individual colonies of each morphology were isolated and expanded. The lines thus derived faithfully retained their parental cystic and spiky morphologies and were termed CC (cystic) and SC (spiky), respectively. Although both CC and SC expressed EGF receptor (EGFR), the EGFR-neutralizing monoclonal antibody, cetuximab, strongly inhibited growth of CC, whereas SC was resistant to growth inhibition, and this was coupled to increased tyrosine phosphorylation of MET and RON. Addition of the dual MET/RON tyrosine kinase inhibitor, crizotinib, restored cetuximab sensitivity in SC. To further characterize these two lines, we performed comprehensive genomic and transcriptomic analysis of CC and SC in 3D. One of the most up-regulated genes in CC was the tumor suppressor , and the most up-regulated gene in SC was () in 3D and xenografts. Analysis of a CRC tissue microarray showed that epithelial, but not stromal, VCAN staining strongly correlated with reduced survival, and combined epithelial VCAN and absent HPGD staining portended a poorer prognosis. Thus, with this 3D system, we have identified a mode of cetuximab resistance and a potential prognostic marker in CRC. As such, this represents a potentially powerful system to identify additional therapeutic strategies and disease-relevant genes in CRC and possibly other solid tumors.
Recent efforts to develop tumor-targeted photodynamic therapy (PDT) photosensitizers (PSs) have greatly advanced the potential of PDT in cancer therapy, although complete eradication of tumor cells by PDT alone remains challenging. As a way to improve PDT efficacy, we report a new combinatory PDT therapy technique that specifically targets multilayers of cells. Simply mixing different PDT PSs, even those that target distinct receptors (this may still lead to similar cell-killing pathways), may not achieve ideal therapeutic outcomes. Instead, significantly improved outcomes likely require synergistic therapies that target various cellular pathways. In this study, we target two proteins upregulated in cancers: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CBR, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the CBR-targeted PS, IR700DX-mbc94, triggered necrotic cell death upon light irradiation, whereas PDT with the TSPO-targeted IR700DX-6T agent led to apoptotic cell death. Both PSs significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo in a target-specific manner. As expected, the combined CBR- and TSPO-PDT resulted in enhanced cell killing efficacy and tumor inhibition with lower drug dose. The median survival time of animals with multilayer PDT treatment was extended by as much as 2.8-fold over single PDT treatment. Overall, multilayer PDT provides new opportunities to treat cancers with high efficacy and low side effects.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE - Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is increasingly used as a minimally invasive, controllable and effective therapeutic procedure for cancer treatment. However, complete eradication of tumor cells by PDT alone remains challenging. In this study, we investigate the potential of multilayer PDT in cancer treatment with high efficacy and low side effects. Through PDT targeting two cancer biomarkers located at distinct subcellular localizations, remarkable synergistic effects in cancer cell killing and tumor inhibition were observed in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. This strategy may be widely applied to treat various cancer types by using strategically designed PDT photosensitizers that target corresponding upregulated receptors at tactical subcellular localization.
Copyright © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Metastatic breast cancers continue to elude current therapeutic strategies, including those utilizing PI3K inhibitors. Given the prominent role of PI3Kα,β in tumor growth and PI3Kγ,δ in immune cell function, we sought to determine whether PI3K inhibition altered antitumor immunity. The effect of PI3K inhibition on tumor growth, metastasis, and antitumor immune response was characterized in mouse models utilizing orthotopic implants of 4T1 or PyMT mammary tumors into syngeneic or -null mice, and patient-derived breast cancer xenografts in humanized mice. Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes were characterized by IHC and FACS analysis in BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) or vehicle-treated mice and versus mice. On the basis of the finding that PI3K inhibition resulted in a more inflammatory tumor leukocyte infiltrate, the therapeutic efficacy of BKM120 (30 mg/kg, every day) and anti-PD1 (100 μg, twice weekly) was evaluated in PyMT tumor-bearing mice. Our findings show that PI3K activity facilitates tumor growth and surprisingly restrains tumor immune surveillance. These activities could be partially suppressed by BKM120 or by genetic deletion of in the host. The antitumor effect of loss in host, but not tumor, was partially reversed by CD8 T-cell depletion. Treatment with therapeutic doses of both BKM120 and antibody to PD-1 resulted in consistent inhibition of tumor growth compared with either agent alone. PI3K inhibition slows tumor growth, enhances antitumor immunity, and heightens susceptibility to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We propose that combining PI3K inhibition with anti-PD1 may be a viable therapeutic approach for triple-negative breast cancer. .
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.