[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced dietary protein intake and intermittent fasting (IF) are both linked to healthy longevity in rodents, and are effective in inhibiting cancer growth. The molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of chronic protein restriction (PR) and IF are unclear, but may be mediated in part by a down-regulation of the IGF/mTOR pathway. In this study we compared the effects of PR and IF on tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model of breast cancer. We also investigated the effects of PR and IF on the mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, inhibition of which extends lifespan in model organisms including mice. The mTOR protein kinase is found in two distinct complexes, of which mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is responsive to acute treatment with amino acids in cell culture and in vivo. We found that both PR and IF inhibit tumor growth and mTORC1 phosphorylation in tumor xenografts. In somatic tissues, we found that PR, but not IF, selectively inhibits the activity of the amino acid sensitive mTORC1, while the activity of the second mTOR complex, mTORC2, was relatively unaffected by PR. In contrast, IF resulted in increased S6 phosphorylation in multiple metabolic tissues. Our work represents the first finding that PR may reduce mTORC1 activity in tumors and multiple somatic tissues, and suggest that PR may represent a highly translatable option for the treatment not only of cancer, but also other age-related diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high mortality rate associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) underscores the need for improving therapeutic options for this patient population. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of vascular targeting in prostate cancer. Experimental studies were carried out in subcutaneous and orthotopic Myc-CaP prostate tumors implanted into male FVB mice to examine the efficacy of a novel microtubule targeted vascular disrupting agent (VDA), EPC2407 (Crolibulin™). A non-invasive multimodality imaging approach based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bioluminescence imaging (BLI), and ultrasound (US) was utilized to guide preclinical trial design and monitor tumor response to therapy. Imaging results were correlated with histopathologic assessment, tumor growth and survival analysis. Contrast-enhanced MRI revealed potent antivascular activity of EPC2407 against subcutaneous and orthotopic Myc-CaP tumors. Longitudinal BLI of Myc-CaP tumors expressing luciferase under the androgen response element (Myc-CaP/ARE-luc) revealed changes in AR signaling and reduction in intratumoral delivery of luciferin substrate following castration suggestive of reduced blood flow. This reduction in blood flow was validated by US and MRI. Combination treatment resulted in sustained vascular suppression, inhibition of tumor regrowth and conferred a survival benefit in both models. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of vascular targeting in combination with androgen deprivation against prostate cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current standard of care for muscle-invasive urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) is surgery along with perioperative platinum-based chemotherapy. UCC is sensitive to cisplatin-based regimens, but acquired resistance eventually occurs, and a subset of tumors is intrinsically resistant. Thus, there is an unmet need for new therapeutic approaches to target chemotherapy-resistant UCC. Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a transcriptional co-activator that has been associated with bladder cancer progression and cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer. In contrast, YAP has been shown to induce DNA damage associated apoptosis in non-small cell lung carcinoma. However, no data have been reported on the YAP role in UCC chemo-resistance. Thus, we have investigated the potential dichotomous role of YAP in UCC response to chemotherapy utilizing two patient-derived xenograft models recently established. Constitutive expression and activation of YAP inversely correlated with in vitro and in vivo cisplatin sensitivity. YAP overexpression protected while YAP knockdown sensitized UCC cells to chemotherapy and radiation effects via increased accumulation of DNA damage and apoptosis. Furthermore, pharmacological YAP inhibition with verteporfin inhibited tumor cell proliferation and restored sensitivity to cisplatin. In addition, nuclear YAP expression was associated with poor outcome in UCC patients who received perioperative chemotherapy. In conclusion, these results suggest that YAP activation exerts a protective role and represents a pharmacological target to enhance the anti-tumor effects of DNA damaging modalities in the treatment of UCC.Oncogene advance online publication, 29 June 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.219.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug combinations can improve angiostatic cancer treatment efficacy and enable the reduction of side effects and drug resistance. Combining drugs is non-trivial due to the high number of possibilities. We applied a feedback system control (FSC) technique with a population-based stochastic search algorithm to navigate through the large parametric space of nine angiostatic drugs at four concentrations to identify optimal low-dose drug combinations. This implied an iterative approach of in vitro testing of endothelial cell viability and algorithm-based analysis. The optimal synergistic drug combination, containing erlotinib, BEZ-235 and RAPTA-C, was reached in a small number of iterations. Final drug combinations showed enhanced endothelial cell specificity and synergistically inhibited proliferation (p < 0.001), but not migration of endothelial cells, and forced enhanced numbers of endothelial cells to undergo apoptosis (p < 0.01). Successful translation of this drug combination was achieved in two preclinical in vivo tumor models. Tumor growth was inhibited synergistically and significantly (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) using reduced drug doses as compared to optimal single-drug concentrations. At the applied conditions, single-drug monotherapies had no or negligible activity in these models. We suggest that FSC can be used for rapid identification of effective, reduced dose, multi-drug combinations for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progression of aggressive prostate cancers (PCa) with androgen receptor splice
variants or neuroendrocrine features is currently untreatable in the clinic. Therefore
novel therapies are urgently required. We conducted RNA-seq using tumors from a
unique murine transplant mouse model which spontaneously progresses to metastatic
disease. Differential gene expression analysis revealed a significant increase of
topoisomerase IIα, Top2a (Top2a) in metastatic tumors. Interrogation of human
data revealed that increased Top2a expression in primary tumors selected patients
with more aggressive disease. Further, significant positive correlation was observed
between Top2a and the histone methyltransferase, Ezh2. Combination of the Top2
poison etoposide with the Ezh2 inhibitor GSK126 or DZNep significantly increased
cell death in vitro in murine and human prostate cancer cell lines. Additionally,
combination therapy extended time to progression and increased therapeutic efficacy
in vivo. Overall, our studies demonstrate that patients screened for Top2a and Ezh2
expression would exhibit significant response to a combinational treatment involving
low dose etoposide combined with Ezh2 inhibition. In addition, our data suggests
that this combination therapeutic strategy is beneficial against aggressive PCa, and
provides strong rationale for continued clinical development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acquired resistance to anti-angiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitors is an important clinical problem in treating various cancers. To what extent acquired resistance is determined by microenvironmental host-factors or by tumor cells directly is unknown. We previously found that tumor cells can become resistant to sunitinib in vitro. Here, we studied to what extent in vitro induced resistance of tumor cells determines in vivo resistance to sunitinib. In severe combined immunodeficient mice, tumors were established from HT-29 parental colon cancer cells (HT-29PAR) or the in vitro induced sunitinib resistant HT-29 cells (HT-29SUN). Treatment with sunitinib (40mg/kg/day) inhibited tumor growth of HT-29PAR tumors by 71±5%, while no inhibition of HT-29SUN tumor growth was observed. Intratumoral sunitinib concentrations and reduced MVD were similar in both groups. Ki67 staining revealed that tumor cell proliferation was significantly reduced with 30% in HT-29PAR tumors, but unaffected in HT-29SUN tumors upon sunitinib treatment. The lysosomal capacity reflected by LAMP-1 and -2 expression was higher in HT-29SUN compared to HT-29PAR tumors indicating an increased sequestration of sunitinib in lysosomes of resistant tumors. In conclusion, we demonstrate that tumor cells rather than host-factors may play a crucial role in acquired resistance to sunitinib in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The Notch ligand Delta-like 4 (Dll4) is highly expressed in vascular endothelium and has been shown to play a pivotal role in regulating tumor angiogenesis. Blockade of the Dll4-Notch pathway in preclinical cancer models has been associated with non-productive angiogenesis and reduced tumor growth. Given the cross-talk between the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Delta-Notch pathways in tumor angiogenesis, we examined the activity of a function-blocking Dll4 antibody, REGN1035, alone and in combination with anti-VEGF therapy in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Methods and Results
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice bearing patient-derived clear cell RCC xenografts were treated with REGN1035 and in combination with the multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib or the VEGF blocker ziv-aflibercept. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent analyses were carried out, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations pre and 24 hours and 2 weeks post treatment. Single agent treatment with REGN1035 resulted in significant tumor growth inhibition (36–62%) that was equivalent to or exceeded the single agent anti-tumor activity of the VEGF pathway inhibitors sunitinib (38–54%) and ziv-aflibercept (46%). Importantly, combination treatments with REGN1035 plus VEGF inhibitors resulted in enhanced anti-tumor effects (72–80% growth inhibition), including some tumor regression. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a marked decrease in tumor perfusion in all treatment groups. Interestingly, anti-tumor efficacy of the combination of REGN1035 and ziv-aflibercept was also observed in a sunitinib resistant ccRCC model.
Overall, these findings demonstrate the potent anti-tumor activity of Dll4 blockade in RCC patient-derived tumors and a combination benefit for the simultaneous targeting of the Dll4 and VEGF signaling pathways, highlighting the therapeutic potential of this treatment modality in RCC.
PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e112371. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112371 · 3.23 Impact Factor