The retinoid X receptor agonist bexarotene (Targretin) synergistically enhances the growth inhibitory activity of cytotoxic drugs in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
ABSTRACT This study was designed to evaluate, using preclinical models of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the growth inhibitory effects of the retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist bexarotene (LGD1069, Targretin) in combination with cytotoxic agents currently used as standard first-line therapy in advanced disease. Although single-agent bexarotene had modest growth inhibitory effects in several cell lines, efficacy was observed only in the micromolar range (>1muM), which approximates the plasma C(max) measured in pharmacokinetic studies in patients. However, when combined with paclitaxel or vinorelbine, bexarotene produced a concentration-dependent enhancement of the growth inhibitory activities of paclitaxel and vinorelbine. Formal synergy analysis using the Calu3 cell line demonstrated that the combination of bexarotene with either cytotoxic agent produced synergistic activity (combination index, CI<1). The in vitro observations were confirmed in vivo in a NSCLC xenograft tumor model (Calu3), where both bexarotene/paclitaxel and bexarotene/vinorelbine combinations produced significantly greater antitumor effects than the single agents. These results demonstrate that bexarotene can cooperate with widely used cytotoxic agents to decrease the growth of NSCLC tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo, and suggest the potential benefit of adding a RXR-selective agonist in combination with chemotherapy for NSCLC treatment. Furthermore, the data support the clinical observation from phase I/IIa trials suggesting that bexarotene has beneficial effects on survival when used in combination with cytotoxic agents in advanced NSCLC.
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ABSTRACT: Bexarotene is the first synthetic retinoid X receptor-selective retinoid (rexinoid) approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). However, little is known about the signalling pathways by which it exerts its anticarcinogenic effect. To characterize the effects of bexarotene in CTCL cell lines and elucidate the underlying molecular pathways of its antineoplastic effect. The cell lines Hut-78, HH and MJ were used. Cell viability was assessed with the XTT assay. The self-renewal potential of cells after bexarotene treatment was studied with the methylcellulose clonogenic assay. Flow cytometry was used to analyse the effects on cell cycle, Ki-67 expression and apoptosis induction. Cell cycle and apoptosis-related protein expression were determined by Western blot and immunofluorescence. Bexarotene induced a loss of viability and more pronounced inhibition of clonogenic proliferation in HH and Hut-78 cells, whereas the MJ line exhibited resistance. Bexarotene upregulated and activated Bax in sensitive lines, although not enough to signal significant apoptosis. Instead, all data point to the inhibition of proliferation, rather than apoptosis, as the main mechanistic action of the rexinoid. Bexarotene signals both G(1) and G(2)/M arrest by the modulation of critical checkpoint proteins. We further found that bexarotene activates p53 by phosphorylation at Ser15, which influences the binding of p53 to promoters for cell cycle arrest, induces p73 upregulation, and, in concordance, also modulates some p53/p73 downstream target genes, such as p21, Bax, survivin and cdc2. Bexarotene-mediated ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM) activation in all studied lines suggests that ATM is likely to be the p53/p73 upstream activator. Our data indicate for the first time that bexarotene exerts its effect in CTCL mainly by triggering the p53/p73-dependent cell cycle inhibition pathway, probably by upstream ATM activation. Therefore, bexarotene-modulated genes represent potential biomarkers to assess the response to treatment of patients with CTCL.British Journal of Dermatology 12/2008; 160(3):519-26. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Preclinical data suggest that the synthetic retinoid bexarotene may be an effective chemopreventive agent and that it may act synergistically in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether repeated doses of bexarotene capsules affect pharmacokinetic parameters of paclitaxel or carboplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Patients received treatment with paclitaxel (200 mg/m(2)) and carboplatin to provide a target AUC of 6 mg min/mL (day 1) every 3 weeks. Continuous oral bexarotene therapy (400 mg/m(2)/day) was initiated on Day 4, and patients started lipid-lowering therapy prior to beginning chemotherapy. Blood sampling to characterize the pharmacokinetic profiles of the chemotherapeutic agents with or without bexarotene was performed during cycle 1 (without concomitant bexarotene) and during cycle 2 (with concomitant bexarotene). An analysis of drug concentration data from 16 patients indicated that bexarotene did not affect the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel, free carboplatin, or total carboplatin concentrations. However, both maximal plasma concentrations and total exposure of bexarotene increased by 80% in the presence of paclitaxel-carboplatin by an, as of yet, unexplained mechanism. The toxicities observed resembled those of either the chemotherapy regimen or bexarotene alone, and there was no evidence for an enhancement of any drug-related toxicity with the combined treatment. The administration of bexarotene, paclitaxel, and carboplatin is feasible and safe; however, the increased bexarotene plasma concentrations and exposure warrant further investigation if this combination is to be utilized clinically.Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 11/2011; 69(3):825-34. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This is a phase I study of the retinoid X receptor agonist bexarotene (Targretin(®)) in combination with the chemotherapeutic drugs cisplatin and vinorelbine and lipid-lowering therapy. This study looked for pharmacokinetic (PK) interactions between the agents in parallel with a phase III study of the combination. Patients (n = 26) with advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer received intravenous cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) on day 1 and at 4-week intervals plus intravenous vinorelbine 25 mg/m(2) weekly. Continuous oral bexarotene therapy (400 mg/m(2)/day) was initiated at day 4. Lipid-lowering therapy was initiated in all patients due to hypertriglyceridemia associated with bexarotene use. PK profiles of the chemotherapeutic agents were obtained on day 1 (without bexarotene) and during cycles 2-4 (with bexarotene). Vinorelbine (n = 18) and free cisplatin (n = 17) PK parameters in evaluable patients were determined using non-compartmental methods. Mean vinorelbine and free cisplatin clearance and dose-corrected AUC values with bexarotene were within 20% of respective values without concomitant bexarotene. Bexarotene levels did not vary with or without co-administration of the chemotherapeutic agents. There was no evidence of increased toxicity when bexarotene was co-administered with the chemotherapeutic agents. Bexarotene does not substantially affect vinorelbine or cisplatin PK, and the combination is well tolerated. The results are consistent with the mechanisms of elimination of vinorelbine (high metabolic clearance) and cisplatin (non-enzymatic and renal elimination).Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 11/2011; 69(3):815-24. · 2.80 Impact Factor