Sildenafil increases chemotherapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin in prostate cancer and ameliorates cardiac dysfunction

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University Pauley Heart Center, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 09/2010; 107(42):18202-7. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006965107
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We have shown that the potent phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor sildenafil (Viagra) induces a powerful effect on reduction of infarct size following ischemia/reperfusion injury and improvement of left ventricular dysfunction in the failing heart after myocardial infarction or doxorubicin (DOX) treatment. In the present study, we further investigated the potential effects of sildenafil on improving antitumor efficacy of DOX in prostate cancer. Cotreatment with sildenafil enhanced DOX-induced apoptosis in PC-3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells, which was mediated by enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species, up-regulation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities, reduced expression of Bcl-xL, and phosphorylation of Bad. Overexpression of Bcl-xL or dominant negative caspase 9 attenuated the synergistic effect of sildenafil and DOX on prostate cancer cell killing. Furthermore, treatment with sildenafil and DOX in mice bearing prostate tumor xenografts resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth. The reduced tumor size was associated with amplified apoptotic cell death and increased expression of activated caspase 3. Doppler echocardiography showed that sildenafil treatment ameliorated DOX-induced left ventricular dysfunction. In conclusion, these results provide provocative evidence that sildenafil is both a powerful sensitizer of DOX-induced killing of prostate cancer while providing concurrent cardioprotective benefit.

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    • "The present studies grew out of those described in refs. (Das et al., 2010; Booth et al., 2014; Roberts et al., 2014), and were designed to determine whether PDE5 inhibitors enhanced celecoxib toxicity in tumor cells and if so, the molecular mechanisms by which the drugs interact. PDE5 inhibitors and celecoxib, in an NOS-dependent and COX2-independent fashion, killed multiple tumor cell types, including tumor stem cells and anoikis resistant tumor cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present studies determined whether clinically relevant phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors interacted with a clinically relevant NSAID, celecoxib, to kill tumor cells. Celecoxib and PDE5 inhibitors interacted in a greater than additive fashion to kill multiple tumor cell types. Celecoxib and sildenafil killed ex vivo primary human glioma cells as well as their associated activated microglia. Knock down of PDE5 recapitulated the effects of PDE5 inhibitor treatment; the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME suppressed drug combination toxicity. The effects of celecoxib were COX2 independent. Over-expression of c-FLIP-s or knock down of CD95/FADD significantly reduced killing by the drug combination. CD95 activation was dependent on nitric oxide and ceramide signaling. CD95 signaling activated the JNK pathway and inhibition of JNK suppressed cell killing. The drug combination inactivated mTOR and increased the levels of autophagy and knock down of Beclin1 or ATG5 strongly suppressed killing by the drug combination. The drug combination caused an ER stress response; knock down of IRE1α/XBP1 enhanced killing whereas knock down of eIF2α/ATF4/CHOP suppressed killing. Sildenafil and celecoxib treatment suppressed the growth of mammary tumors in vivo. Collectively our data demonstrate that clinically achievable concentrations of celecoxib and sildenafil have the potential to be a new therapeutic approach for cancer. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 10/2014; 230(5). DOI:10.1002/jcp.24843 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    • "This difference in DOX-mediated toxicity in cancer and normal cells can be analyzed to improve the antitumor effects of DOX in combination with other antitumor drugs, thus allowing a dose reduction of DOX to protect the normal cells. Combination therapy with DOX has recently gained much attention (13,14). A study by Dayton et al (14) found that combining DOX with HO-3867 could reduce myocardial toxicity and enhance cell death through the use of DOX at lower doses. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the antitumor effect of celecoxib (CXB) combined with doxorubicin (DOX) on the subcutaneous xenograft tumor of medullary thyroid carcinoma in nude mice, and to analyze the possible mechanism of action. Nude mice with xenografted medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) were randomly divided into the control, CXB, DOX and DOX plus CXB groups, and the drug treatment was administered for three weeks. It was found that the tumor inhibition rates and the apoptosis index in the treatment groups were higher than in the control group (P<0.01), and that these values were higher in the combination group compared with the single-drug group (P<0.01). DOX alone upregulated the cyclooxygenase-2 and multidrug-resistance 1 expression levels, and the combination of CXB and DOX or CXB alone notably decreased the expression level of the two proteins compared with no treatment. The results of the present study provide evidence that a combination of DOX and CXB is a potential drug candidate for the treatment of MTC.
    Oncology letters 06/2014; 7(6):2053-2058. DOI:10.3892/ol.2014.2050 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "While aiming to reduce the cardiotoxic effects of anthracyclines using adjunct therapies, it is imperative to assess the effects in cancer cell line to ascertain the clinical utility of such treatments. Interestingly, recent studies using the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors sildenafil or tadalafil have shown promise by showing a reduction in the cardiotoxic effects of doxorubicin without affecting its anti-cancer activity [15,16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Doxorubicin is one of the most effective anti-cancer agents. However, its use is associated with adverse cardiac effects, including cardiomyopathy and progressive heart failure. Given the multiple beneficial effects of the mitochondrial division inhibitor (mdivi-1) in a variety of pathological conditions including heart failure and ischaemia and reperfusion injury, we investigated the effects of mdivi-1 on doxorubicin-induced cardiac dysfunction in naïve and stressed conditions using Langendorff perfused heart models and a model of oxidative stress was used to assess the effects of drug treatments on the mitochondrial depolarisation and hypercontracture of cardiac myocytes. Western blot analysis was used to measure the levels of p-Akt and p-Erk 1/2 and flow cytometry analysis was used to measure the levels p-Drp1 and p-p53 upon drug treatment. The HL60 leukaemia cell line was used to evaluate the effects of pharmacological inhibition of mitochondrial division on the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in a cancer cell line. Doxorubicin caused a significant impairment of cardiac function and increased the infarct size to risk ratio in both naïve conditions and during ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Interestingly, co-treatment of doxorubicin with mdivi-1 attenuated these detrimental effects of doxorubicin. Doxorubicin also caused a reduction in the time taken to depolarisation and hypercontracture of cardiac myocytes, which were reversed with mdivi-1. Finally, doxorubicin caused a significant elevation in the levels of signalling proteins p-Akt, p-Erk 1/2, p-Drp1 and p-p53. Co-incubation of mdivi-1 with doxorubicin did not reduce the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin against HL-60 cells. These data suggest that the inhibition of mitochondrial fission protects the heart against doxorubicin-induced cardiac injury and identify mitochondrial fission as a new therapeutic target in ameliorating doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity without affecting its anti-cancer properties.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77713. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0077713 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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