[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of proliferation/survival pathways constitutively activated by genetic alterations in multiple myeloma (MM), or sustained by the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment, provides novel opportunities for the development of targeted therapies. The deregulated function of protein tyrosine kinases plays a critical role in driving MM malignant phenotype. We investigated the effects of the multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor RPI-1 in a panel of human MM cell lines, including t(4;14) positive cell lines expressing the TK receptor FGF-R3. Cells harboring FGF-R3 activating mutations (KMS11 and OPM2) displayed the highest sensitivity to RPI-1 antiproliferative effect. The stimulating effect of the aFGF ligand was abrogated in cells harboring a non-constitutively active receptor. Drug treatment inhibited activation and expression of the FGF-R3(Y373C) mutant as well as aFGF-dependent signaling involving AKT and ERKs. Inhibition of JAK2, an additional RPI-1 target, resulted in STAT3 inactivation. Blockade of these proliferation/survival pathways was associated with caspase-dependent apoptosis. Moreover, drug treatment abrogated proliferative and pro-invasive stimuli provided by conditioned medium from mesenchymal stromal cells. Gene expression profile of KMS11 cells showed 22 upregulated and 52 downregulated genes upon RPI-1 treatment, with an early modulation of genes implicated in MM pathobiology such as SAT-1, MYC, MIP-1alpha/beta, FGF-R3, and the growth factor receptor B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). Thus, concomitant blockade of FGF-R3 and JAK2 results in inhibition of several MM-promoting pathways, including BCMA-regulated signaling, and downregulation of disease-associated proteins. These data may have therapeutic implications in the design of treatment strategies resulting in the concomitant inhibition of FGF-R3 and JAK2 signaling pathways in t(4;14) MM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its tyrosine kinase receptor Met play a pivotal role in the tumor metastatic phenotype and represent attractive therapeutic targets. We investigated the biochemical and biological effects of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor RPI-1 on the human lung cancer cell lines H460 and N592, which express constitutively active Met. RPI-1-treated cells showed down-regulation of Met activation and expression, inhibition of HGF/Met-dependent downstream signaling involving AKT, signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and paxillin, as well as a reduced expression of the proangiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. Cell growth in soft agar of H460 cells was strongly reduced in the presence of the drug. Furthermore, RPI-1 inhibited both spontaneous and HGF-induced motility/invasiveness of both H460 and human endothelial cells. Targeting of Met signaling by alternative methods (Met small interfering RNA and anti-phosphorylated Met antibody intracellular transfer) produced comparable biochemical and biological effects. Using the spontaneously metastasizing lung carcinoma xenograft H460, daily oral treatment with well-tolerated doses of RPI-1 produced a significant reduction of spontaneous lung metastases (-75%; P < 0.001, compared with control mice). In addition, a significant inhibition of angiogenesis in primary s.c. tumors of treated mice was observed, possibly contributing to limit the development of metastases. The results provide preclinical evidence in support of Met targeting pharmacologic approach as a new option for the control of tumor metastatic dissemination.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 10/2006; 5(9):2388-97. · 5.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filler materials for medical use present limits, such as the induction of chronic inflammation and fibrosis. In the search for synthetic materials with improved biocompatible properties, a new polyacrylamide hydrogel, Aquamid (Contura SA, Montreux, Switzerland), has been investigated in preclinical systems. In cell cultures (endothelial cells and fibroblast), no or only transient biological effects were associated with 10% Aquamid exposure. The Aquamid-host interactions were examined in mice (10 mice per group) implanted subcutaneously or in the mammary fat pad with a very large volume (1.5 ml) of the material. Blood analysis, performed after 15 and 94 days (five mice per time for each group) to detect acute or late manifestations of toxicity, did not reveal relevant abnormalities in either group of Aquamid-bearing mice compared with control mice, except for a transient thrombocytopenia and a mild leukocytosis. Histological analysis of the pellet showed the presence of a thin, poorly vascularized cyst wall in implants. Only mild mesenchymal reparative and inflammatory processes were observed, even at longer observation times (more than 400 days). No alterations in any organ were detected. Despite the large volume implanted (approximately 5 percent of mouse body weight), the Aquamid pellet maintained its original size and shape without spreading or sticking to surrounding tissues. In conclusion, the study indicated a good tolerability of the new biopolymer in preclinical systems. The clinical utility of this new compound, if confirmed by clinical randomized trials showing its atoxic properties, could be in the field of aesthetic plastic surgery as a filler material for body contouring and in reconstructive surgery and above all in cancer patients to restore surgical defects.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 10/2004; 114(4):934-42. · 3.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RET proto-oncogene encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase. RET oncogenes arise through sporadic and inherited gene mutations and are involved in the etiopathogenesis of medullary thyroid carcinoma, a cancer that responds poorly to conventional chemotherapy. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is a component of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 or MEN2 syndromes.
We investigated the cellular effects of RPI-1, a novel 2-indolinone Ret tyrosine kinase inhibitor on cells that express RET C634 oncogenic mutants common in the MEN2A syndrome: NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with RET(C634R) and human medullary thyroid carcinoma TT cells that express endogenous RET(C634W). RPI-1 antiproliferative activity was determined by cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth assays. Expression and phosphorylation of Ret and of proteins involved in downstream signaling pathways were examined by immunoblotting. Antitumor activity of oral RPI-1 treatment was tested by using two dosing levels in nude mice bearing subcutaneous TT xenograft tumors. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The RPI-1 IC50 value for cell proliferation was 3.6 microM (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.8 to 5.4 microM) in NIH3T3 cells expressing the Ret mutant compared with 16 microM (95% CI = 12.3 to 19.7 microM) in non-transfected NIH3T3 cells, and that for colony formation in soft agar was 2.4 microM (95% CI = 0.8 to 4.0 microM) and 26 microM (95% CI = 17 to 35 microM) in RET mutant-transfected and H-RAS-transfected NIH3T3 cells, respectively. In NIH3T3 cells expressing the Ret mutant, Ret protein and tyrosine phosphorylation were undetectable after 24 hours of RPI-1 treatment. In TT cells, RPI-1 inhibited proliferation, Ret tyrosine phosphorylation, Ret protein expression, and the activation of PLCgamma, ERKs and AKT. In mice, oral daily RPI-1 treatment inhibited the tumor growth of TT xenografts by 81% (P<.001 versus control mice) and reduced the plasma levels of the specific biomarker calcitonin (P =.01 versus control mice). Twenty-five percent of RPI-1-treated mice were tumor-free.
Ret oncoproteins represent exploitable targets for therapeutic intervention in MEN2A-associated medullary thyroid carcinoma. The antitumor efficacy and oral bioavailability of RPI-1 support its therapeutic potential.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antineoplastic drugs belonging to platinum or taxane families are severely neurotoxic, inducing the onset of disabling peripheral neuropathies with different clinical signs. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a natural occurring compound with a neuroprotective activity in several experimental paradigms. In this study we have tested the hypothesis that ALC may have a protective role on cisplatin and paclitaxel-induced neuropathy.
Sensory nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) was measured in rats before, at end, and after an additional follow-up period from treatments with cisplatin, paclitaxel, or with the respective combination with ALC. In addition, serum from treated animals was collected to measure the levels of circulating NGF, and left sciatic nerves were processed for light and electron microscope observations. ALC interference on cisplatin and paclitaxel antitumor activity and protective mechanisms were investigated using several in vitro and in vivo models.
ALC cotreatment was able to significantly reduce the neurotoxicity of both cisplatin and paclitaxel in rat models, and this effect was correlated with a modulation of the plasma levels of NGF in the cisplatin-treated animals. Moreover, experiments in different tumor systems indicated the lack of interference of ALC in the antitumor effects of cisplatin and paclitaxel. The transcriptional profile of gene expression in PC12 cells indicated that ALC, in the presence of NGF, was able to positively modulate NGFI-A expression, a gene relevant in the rescue from tissue-specific toxicity. Finally, the transcriptionally ALC-mediated effects were correlated to increase histone acetylation.
In conclusion, our results indicate that ALC is a specific protective agent for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy after cisplatin or paclitaxel treatment without showing any interference with the antitumor activity of the drugs.
Clinical Cancer Research 12/2003; 9(15):5756-67. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ST1481 (gimatecan) is a novel lipophilic camptothecin with a promising preclinical pharmacological profile. On the basis of its high antitumor efficacy when delivered by the oral route, the compound is suitable for prolonged administration. This schedule of treatment has been reported as the most appropriate to exploit the antiangiogenic effects of cytotoxic drugs. The aim of the study was to investigate the antiangiogenic and antitumor effects of oral ST1481 in human tumor xenografts. In spite of a marginal drug effect against the s.c. growing A549 lung carcinoma following administration with an intermittent schedule (q4dx4 times, maximum tolerated dose: 2 mg/kg), tumor growth was strongly inhibited by a daily low-dose (0.5 mg/kg) prolonged administration. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a reduced number of microvessels in tumors of both treated groups versus controls and a significantly higher reduction in the daily versus the q4dx4-treated tumors (P < 0.0001, by Student's t test). In our experimental model, the relation between microvessel density and tumor size (r = 0.738, by the Spearman rank test) suggests a role of inhibition of tumor vasculature in tumor response. Significant inhibition of tumor angiogenesis (P < 0.0001 versus control tumors) was observed even with a very low drug dose (0.06 mg/kg) in the orthotopically implanted (i.d.) MeWo melanoma, under conditions causing minimal tumor growth inhibition. Additional evidences of the antiangiogenic activity of ST1481 were provided by antimotility effects on endothelial cells, in vivo inhibition of vascularization in the Matrigel assay, and down-regulation of the expression of the proangiogenic basic fibroblast growth factor in A549 tumor cells associated with inhibition of the pathway involving Akt. In conclusion, the available results support the possibility that the antiangiogenic properties of ST1481 contribute to its antitumor potential and that this effect might be enhanced by the continuous low-dose treatment.
Molecular Cancer Research 10/2003; 1(12):863-70. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recognition of the antiangiogenic properties of taxanes provides a basis for novel therapeutic approaches. A prolonged exposure to low drug concentrations has been proposed to be the most suitable approach to exploit the antiangiogenic potential of cytotoxic agents. Such schedule is required to target preferentially slowly dividing endothelial cells. The protracted use of taxanes could benefit from the availability of a taxane endowed with a favourable tolerability profile. Among compounds of a novel series of C-seco taxanes, IDN 5390 was originally selected on the basis of its potent antimotility activity and poor cytotoxicity on endothelial cells. The aim of the study was to investigate the preclinical pharmacologic profile of IDN 5390 in a variety of human tumour xenografts, including ovarian and colon carcinoma and a glioblastoma. IDN 5390, delivered by s.c. injection, daily for 5 days per week, exhibited a high activity against all tumours investigated (tumour growth inhibition was always >85%) in the range of well-tolerated doses. The maximum tolerated dose/injection (MTD), with no signs of systemic or local vesicant toxicity, was 120 mg kg(-1). In contrast, paclitaxel, delivered according to the same schedule, exhibited a variable antitumour efficacy associated with a substantial local toxicity (MTD=10 mg kg(-1)). Considering the remarkable efficacy of IDN 5390 delivered s.c. by protracted treatment schedule, the oral route of administration was further investigated, as the most suitable for daily treatment. Indeed, a good bioavailability of oral IDN 5390 was found. Oral IDN 5390 maintained a substantial efficacy against human tumour xenografts, including paclitaxel-resistant tumours, without loss of potency with respect to s.c. administration. In conclusion, the therapeutic advantages of IDN 5390, over paclitaxel, in protracted daily treatment schedules are represented by the oral efficacy and the high tolerability, which are favourable features to exploit the antiangiogenic potential and to design combinations with other effective agents.
British Journal of Cancer 03/2003; 88(6):965-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Camptothecins are cytotoxic agents with a wide spectrum of antitumor activity. The unique mechanism of action, the impressive preclinical efficacy and the clinical success of irinotecan and topotecan have stimulated intensive efforts to identify novel analogues. The development of novel camptothecins was recently rationalized on the basis of the detailed knowledge of mechanism of drug-target interaction and was aimed to overcome the major limitations of these drugs (i.e. lactone ring instability and reversibility of topoisomerase I-DNA cleavage complexes). The development of novel series of analogues (7-substituted camptothecins, silatecans and homocamptothecins) resulted in identification of promising compounds, which are currently in clinical development. Considering the lack of precise correlations between preclinical activity and clinical efficacy of camptothecins, the potential advantages of novel analogs in clinical therapy remains to be documented. However, a rational basis for drug selection and development is now provided by the recognition of major limitations of these agents and by a detailed knowledge of multiple interactions between drug, cellular target and serum albumin. Inhibition of the nuclear enzyme DNA topoisomerase I has proven to be a promising strategy in the design of antitumor agents, in spite of a limited cellular basis of selectivity in cytotoxic action of camptothecins (i.e., overexpression of the target enzyme in tumor cells, and increased sensitivity of proliferating cells). The interest in topoisomerase I as a therapeutic target promoted various efforts to identify other chemotypes effective as topoisomerase inhibitors and chemical / modelling efforts to rationally design specific analogs among known inhibitors. Additional approaches, including drug delivery / formulation, optimization of dose / schedule and route of administration, are expected to improve the therapy with camptothecins and other inhibitors.
Current Pharmaceutical Design 11/2002; 8(27):2505-2520. · 3.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Taxane-based therapies appear to have a significant efficacy in clinical trials on hormone-refractory prostate carcinoma. In the present study, we investigated the cellular response of androgen-independent prostate carcinoma cell lines to the novel taxane IDN 5109 (BAY 59-8862) and evaluated its antitumor activity. In previous preclinical studies, this new paclitaxel (PTX) analogue was characterized by high tolerability and antitumor efficacy, ability to overcome multidrug resistance, and activity by oral administration. Upon treatment, DU145 and PC3 prostate carcinoma cell lines underwent a transient mitotic arrest. This was followed by G1 arrest and rapid occurrence of apoptosis in DU145 cells, whereas in PC3 cells, which are defective for the postmitotic checkpoint, a slow cell death was preceded by DNA endoreduplication. At the biochemical level, such events were associated with tubulin polymerization, activation of the mitosis-promoting factor, and phosphorylation of Bcl-X(L)/Bcl-2/Raf-1. In addition, IDN 5109 shared with PTX the ability to down-regulate the expression of the two potent angiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor. These findings indicated that IDN 5109 affected the same pathways involved in the cellular response to PTX and suggested that an antiangiogenic effect mediated by inhibition of paracrine stimulation of endothelial cells might contribute to the antitumor effect of both drugs. In in vivo experiments, the new taxane displayed a superior and more persistent effect compared with PTX against DU145 tumor xenografts. Such an effect was associated with pronounced reduction of the tumor microvessel density, superior to that achieved by PTX. These results support a potential therapeutic advantage of IDN 5109 over PTX against hormone-refractory prostate carcinoma.
Clinical Cancer Research 09/2002; 8(8):2647-54. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of effective chemotherapy for central nervous system tumors is hampered by the blood-brain barrier and by limited drug diffusion in the brain tissue. BAY 59-8862 is a new taxane analog that was selected and developed for its activity against tumors with a P-glycoprotein-mediated, multidrug-resistant phenotype. Because P-glycoprotein is implicated in limiting the access of drugs to central nervous system tumor targets, the objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of intravenously administered BAY 59-8862 to affect the growth of central nervous system tumors.
The U-87 MG human glioma cell line was xenografted orthotopically (intracranially) in nude mice. Paclitaxel or BAY 59-8862 was delivered intravenously four times every fourth day, and antitumor efficacy was assessed by examining the effects on mouse survival time and by histologic examination of mouse brain. Drug levels in plasma and brain were determined according to a high-performance liquid chromatography method.
The analog was as potent as paclitaxel in inhibiting the proliferation of three human glioma cell lines (U-87 MG, SW1783, and GBM) and was as effective as paclitaxel in inhibiting the heterotopic (subcutaneous) tumor growth in nude mice of U-87 MG cells (tumor weight inhibition, approximately 60%). In contrast, BAY 59-8862 was more active than paclitaxel (P < 0.05 in two of three experiments) in increasing the survival time of mice that were injected orthotopically with U-87 MG cells. The results were supported by the pharmacokinetic data, which indicated a much higher (about 15-fold) brain:plasma level ratio in BAY 59-8862-treated animals compared with paclitaxel-treated animals.
The study provides evidence of an additional pharmacologic advantage of BAY 59-8862, i.e., the ability to affect the growth of intracranial tumors, probably due to the lack of recognition by the P-glycoprotein-mediated transport systems. The favorable behavior of BAY 59-8862 supports the potential interest in the analog for clinical studies in patients with brain tumors or metastases.
Cancer 12/2001; 92(12):3085-92. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ret oncoproteins expressed in thyroid carcinomas represent possible targets for therapeutic intervention. Oncogenic activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase encoding RET gene occurs typically by gene rearrangement in papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) and by missense mutation in medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTC). These genetic alterations lead to the expression of deregulated products characterized by ligand-independent activation of the intrinsic tyrosine kinase of Ret. Such features suggest the possibility of using specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors to block the Ret oncoproteins signaling. The present report summarizes the cellular effects of the arylidene 2-indolinone Ret inhibitor RPI-1 (formerly Cpd1) on the human PTC cell line TPC-1 which spontaneously harbors the RET/PTC1 oncogene. The results provide evidence that RPI-1 is able to inhibit cell growth and to interfere with Ret/ptc1-driven signaling. These findings support a role for Ret oncoproteins as therapeutic targets and the pharmacological interest of RPI-1 as a candidate drug for preclinical evaluation on thyroid tumors expressing RET oncogenes.