Efficacy of RAD001 (everolimus) against advanced gastric cancer with peritoneal dissemination
Peritoneal dissemination occurs frequently in patients with unresectable advanced-stage gastric cancer. In this study, we tested the efficacy of the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 (everolimus) against advanced gastric cancer with peritoneal dissemination. Using the two cell lines, 58As1, a cell line exhibiting a high propensity for peritoneal metastasis, and its parental cell line, HSC-58, a human scirrhous gastric cancer cell line, we first examined the growth-inhibitory activity of everolimus in vitro. Methylene blue assay demonstrated a moderate inhibitory effect of the drug on both cell lines under normal culture conditions (maximal inhibitory effect: 50.5% at 1 μM, HSC-58, 65.3%, 58As1). However, under the hypoxic condition (1% O(2)), while the growth-inhibitory activity of everolimus was greatly reduced in the HSC-58 cell line, the degree of reduction of the inhibitory activity was much smaller in the 58As1 cell line. Western blotting revealed that the degree of phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream signaling molecules, p70S6K and 4E-BP1, was decreased under hypoxic conditions in HSC-58. On the other hand, phospho-p70S6K and phospho-4E-BP1 remained active under hypoxic conditions in 58As1, the molecular activity was suppressed by everolimus. Cell-cycle analysis showed that hypoxia-induced G1 arrest was not manifested in the 58As1 cells, unlike in the HSC-58 cells. Separately, an in vivo orthotopic mouse model of 58As1 revealed that everolimus significantly reduced peritoneal dissemination as evaluated by the quantitative photon counting method. Taken together, our results suggest that everolimus may have favorable activity against gastric cancer, particularly in cases with peritoneal dissemination.
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