Preclinical and Clinical Studies of Gamma Secretase Inhibitors with Docetaxel on Human Breast Tumors
ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Accumulating evidence supports the existence of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs), which are characterized by their capacity to self-renew and divide indefinitely, and resistance to conventional therapies. The Notch pathway is important for stem cell renewal, and is a potential target for BCSC-directed therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using human breast tumorgraft studies, we evaluated the impact of gamma secretase inhibitors (GSI) on the BCSC population and the efficacy of combining GSI with docetaxel treatment. The mouse experimental therapy paralleled a concurrent clinical trial in advanced breast cancer patients, designed to determine the maximally tolerated dose of the GSI, MK-0752, administered sequentially with docetaxel, and to evaluate BCSC markers in serial tumor biopsies. RESULTS: Treatment with GSI reduced BCSCs in MC1 and BMC-2147 tumorgrafts by inhibition of the Notch pathway. GSI enhanced the efficacy of docetaxel in preclinical studies. In the clinical trial, 30 patients with advanced breast cancer were treated with escalating doses of MK-0752 plus docetaxel. Clinically meaningful doses of both drugs were possible, with manageable toxicity and preliminary evidence of efficacy. A decrease in CD44+/CD24-, ALDH+, and MSFE were observed in tumors of patients undergoing serial biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: These preclinical data demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of the Notch pathway can reduce BCSCs in breast tumorgraft models. The clinical trial demonstrates feasibility of combination GSI and chemotherapy, and together these results encourage further study of Notch pathway inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy in breast cancer.
SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer cells acquire enhanced ability of migration and invasion, stem cell like characteristics and therapeutic resistance. Notch signaling regulates cell-cell connection, cell polarity and motility during organ development. Recent studies demonstrate that Notch signaling plays an important role in lung cancer initiation and cross-talks with several transcriptional factors to enhance EMT, contributing to the progression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Correspondingly, blocking of Notch signaling inhibits NSCLC migration and tumor growth by reversing EMT. Clinical trials have showed promising effect in some cancer patients received treatment with Notch1 inhibitor. This review attempts to provide an overview of the Notch signal in NSCLC: its biological significance and therapeutic application.Journal of Hematology & Oncology 12/2014; 7(1):87. DOI:10.1186/s13045-014-0087-z · 4.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Overcoming resistance to standard anticancer treatments represents a significant challenge. The interest regarding cancer stem cells, a cellular population that has the ability to self-renew and to propagate the tumor, was prompted by experimental evidence delineating the molecular mechanisms that are selectively activated in this cellular subset in order to survive chemotherapy. This has also stimulated combination strategies aimed at rendering cancer stem cells vulnerable to anticancer agents. Moreover, cancer stem cells offer a unique opportunity for modeling human cancers in mice, thus emerging as a powerful tool for testing novel drugs and combinations in a simulation of human disease. These novel animal models may lay the foundation for a new generation of clinical trials aimed at anticipating the benefit to patients of anticancer therapies.Future Oncology 10/2014; 10(13):2033-44. DOI:10.2217/fon.14.126 · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite advances in the treatment of patients with early and metastatic breast cancer, mortality remains high due to intrinsic or acquired resistance to therapy. Increased understanding of the genomic landscape through massively parallel sequencing has revealed somatic mutations common to specific subtypes of breast cancer, provided new prognostic and predictive markers, and highlighted potential therapeutic targets. Evaluating new targets using established cell lines is limited by the inexact correlation between responsiveness observed in cell lines versus that elicited in the patient. Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) generated from fresh tumor specimens recapitulate the diversity of breast cancer and reflect histopathology, tumor behavior, and the metastatic properties of the original tumor. The high degree of genomic preservation evident across primary tumors and their matching PDXs over serial passaging validate them as important preclinical tools. Indeed, there is accumulating evidence that PDXs can recapitulate treatment responses of the parental tumor. The finding that tumor engraftment is an independent and poor prognostic indicator of patient outcome represents the first step towards personalized medicine. Here we review the utility of breast cancer PDX models to study the clonal evolution of tumors and to evaluate novel therapies and drug resistance.Breast Cancer Research 12/2015; 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0523-1 · 5.33 Impact Factor