Update on targeted therapies for clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE OF REVIEW:The article reviews the evolution of targeted therapies for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and recent developments in the field. The vast majority of work in kidney cancer deals with clear cell RCC, which is the most common variant of this malignancy. The identification of loss of function of the von Hippel-Lindau protein as the basis for clear cell RCC, in addition to the well designed clinical trials that have ensued, provide an outstanding model for the development of mechanism-based targeted therapy in cancer. RECENT FINDINGS:The treatment of advanced and metastatic RCC continues to be a major challenge for uro-oncologists despite the approval of six targeted therapies over the past 5 years. This rapid growth in therapeutic options has brought much needed improvements in overall and progression-free survival, although durable complete responses are rare. However, the plurality of treatments also poses challenges in terms of selecting the best therapy for a given patient, designing trials with appropriate comparison arms and endpoints, identifying well tolerated and effective drug combinations or sequences, and determining the role of targeted therapies in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. SUMMARY:Vascular endothelial growth factor and mammalian target of rapamycin-targeted therapies continue to play a critical role in the management of advanced and metastatic RCC. Ongoing research to identify novel agents continues to build upon the work done during the elucidation of the von Hippel-Lindau/clear cell RCC pathway. It is hoped that ongoing and planned studies will enable development of therapeutic regimens that will incorporate agents with improved toxicity and better efficacy as well as defining a role for a multidisciplinary approach to the management of advanced RCC.
Project description:In the last two decades, the discovery of various pathways involved in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has led to the development of biologically-driven targeted therapies. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), angiogenic growth factors, von Hippel?Lindau (VHL) gene mutations, and oncogenic microRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles in the pathogenesis and drug resistance of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. These insights have led to the development of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, and immunotherapeutic agents, which have significantly improved the outcomes of patients with advanced RCC. HIF inhibitors will be a valuable asset in the growing therapeutic armamentarium of RCC. Various histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, selenium, and agents like PT2385 and PT2977 are being explored in various clinical trials as potential HIF inhibitors, to ameliorate the outcomes of RCC patients. In this article, we will review the current treatment options and highlight the potential role of selenium in the modulation of drug resistance biomarkers expressed in clear cell RCC (ccRCC) tumors.
Project description:Inactivation of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) leads to increased levels of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) and overexpression of HIF target genes, such as VEGF and others. VEGF-targeted agents are standard in advanced clear-cell RCC but biomarkers of activity are lacking.We analyzed tumor tissue samples from metastatic clear-cell RCC patients who received pazopanib as part of clinical trial VEG102616. We evaluated several components of the VHL/HIF pathway: VHL gene inactivation (mutation and/or methylation), HIF-1? and HIF-2? immunohistochemistry staining, and HIF-1? transcriptional signature. We evaluated the association of these biomarkers with best overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS) to pazopanib, a standard first-line VEGF-targeted agent.The VEG102616 trial enrolled 225 patients, from whom 78 samples were available for tumor DNA extraction. Of these, 70 patients had VHL mutation or methylation. VHL gene status did not correlate with ORR or PFS. Similarly, HIF-1? (65 samples) and HIF-2? (66 samples) protein levels (high vs. low) did not correlate with ORR or PFS to pazopanib. The HIF-1? transcriptional signature (46 samples) was enriched in tumors expressing high HIF-1? levels. However, the HIF-1? gene expression signature was not associated with clinical outcome to pazopanib.In patients with advanced clear-cell RCC, several potential biomarkers along the VHL/HIF-1?/HIF-2? axis were not found to be predictive for pazopanib activity. Additional efforts must continue to identify biomarkers associated with clinical outcome to VEGF-targeted agents in metastatic RCC.
Project description:Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the seventh most frequently diagnosed tumor in adults in Europe and represents approximately 2.5% of cancer deaths. The molecular biology underlying renal cell carcinoma (RCC) development and progression has been a key milestone in the management of this type of tumor. The discovery of Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene alterations that arouse in 50% of ccRCC patients, leads the identification of an intracellular accumulation of HIF and, consequently an increase of VEGFR expression. This change in cell biology represents a new paradigm in the treatment of metastatic renal cancer by targeting angiogenesis. Currently, there are multiple therapeutic drugs available for advanced disease, including therapies against VEGFR with successful results in patients´ survival. Other tyrosine kinases' pathways, including PDGFR, Axl or MET have emerged as key signaling pathways involved in RCC biology. Indeed, promising new drugs targeting those tyrosine kinases have exhibited outstanding efficacy. In this review we aim to present an overview of the central role of these tyrosine kinases' activities in relevant biological processes for kidney cancer and their usefulness in RCC targeted therapy development. In the immunotherapy era, angiogenesis is still an "old guy" that the medical community is trying to fight using "new bullets".
Project description:Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a malignancy of the kidney originating from the tubular epithelium. Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor gene (<i>VHL</i>) is found in most clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs). The <i>VHL</i>-HIF-VEGF/VEGFR pathway, which involves the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (<i>VHL</i>), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and its receptor (VEGFR), is a well-studied therapeutic target for metastatic ccRCC. Therefore, over the past decade, anti-angiogenic agents targeting VEGFR have served as the standard treatment for metastatic RCC. Recently, based on the immunomodulatory effect of anti-VEGFR therapy, anti-angiogenic agents and immune checkpoint inhibitor combination strategies have also emerged as therapeutic strategies. These advances were made possible by the improved understanding of the <i>VHL</i>-HIF pathway. In this review, we summarize the historical evolution of ccRCC treatments, with a focus on the involvement of the <i>VHL</i>-HIF pathway.
Project description:Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) are refractory to standard therapy with advanced RCC having a poor prognosis; consequently treatment of advanced RCC represents an unmet clinical need. The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is mutated or inactivated in a majority of RCCs. We recently identified a 4-pyridyl-2-anilinothiazole (PAT) with selective cytotoxicity against VHL-deficient renal cells mediated by induction of autophagy and increased acidification of autolysosomes. We report exploration of structure-activity relationships (SAR) around this PAT lead. Analogues with substituents on each of the three rings, and various linkers between rings, were synthesized and tested in vitro using paired RCC4 cell lines. A contour map describing the relative spatial contributions of different chemical features to potency illustrates a region, adjacent to the pyridyl ring, with potential for further development. Examples probing this domain validated this approach and may provide the opportunity to develop this novel chemotype as a targeted approach to the treatment of RCC.
Project description:Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is characterized by inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene. VHL loss drives tumor angiogenesis and accounts for the clinical activity of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the first-line standard of care for advanced RCC. Within the last year, three new second-line treatments have received FDA approval for use after anti-angiogenic therapy: the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, the TKI cabozantinib, and the combination of the TKI lenvatinib and the mTOR inhibitor everolimus. Cabozantinib inhibits VEGFRs, MET, and AXL, kinases that promote tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. Compared with everolimus, cabozantinib has shown statistically significant improvements in the three key efficacy endpoints of overall survival, progression-free survival, and objective response rate in patients with RCC who were previously treated with a VEGFR TKI. Herein, we summarize the translational research and clinical development that led to approval of cabozantinib as second-line therapy in RCC.
Project description:Inactivation of von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor protein (pVHL) is associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease, an inherited cancer syndrome, as well as the majority of patients with sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Although the involvement of pVHL in oxygen sensing through targeting hypoxia-inducible factor-? subunits to ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis has been well documented, less is known about pVHL regulation under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. We found that pVHL levels decreased in hypoxia and that hypoxia-induced cell cycle arrest is associated with pVHL expression in RCC cells. pVHL levels fluctuate during the cell cycle, paralleling cyclin B1 levels, with decreased levels in mitosis and G1. pVHL contains consensus destruction (D) box sequences, and pVHL associates with Cdh1, an activator of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) E3 ubiquitin ligase. We show that pVHL has a decreased half-life in G1, Cdh1 downregulation results in increased pVHL expression, whereas Cdh1 overexpression results in decreased pVHL expression. Taken together, these results suggest that pVHL is a novel substrate of APC/C(Cdh1). D box-independent pVHL degradation was also detected, indicating that other ubiquitin ligases are also activated for pVHL degradation.
Project description:Von Hippel-Lindau disease is an autosomal dominant syndrome which occurs secondary to germline mutations in the VHL tumor suppressor gene, located on chromosome 3. Clinically von Hippel-Lindau disease is characterized by an increased risk of developing simple visceral cysts, most commonly in the pancreas and kidneys, in addition to an increased risk of developing neoplasms, often with clear cell features, in a multitude of organ systems. The most common neoplasms are cerebellar and retinal hemangioblastomas, adrenal pheochromocytomas, clear cell renal cell carcinomas, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, pancreatic serous cystadenomas, and endolymphatic sac tumors. These lesions most commonly present during adulthood; however, screening and surveillance for the development of these lesions should begin in the pediatric years for patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease. In this review article, the genetics and most common neoplasms of von Hippel-Lindau disease are reviewed, with an eye towards implications for the pediatric patient.
Project description:Renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) are refractory to standard therapies. The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is inactivated in 75% of RCCs. By screening for small molecules selectively targeting VHL-deficient RCC cells, we identified STF-62247. STF-62247 induces cytotoxicity and reduces tumor growth of VHL-deficient RCC cells compared to genetically matched cells with wild-type VHL. STF-62247-stimulated toxicity occurs in a HIF-independent manner through autophagy. Reduction of protein levels of essential autophagy pathway components reduces sensitivity of VHL-deficient cells to STF-62247. Using a yeast deletion pool, we show that loss of proteins involved in Golgi trafficking increases killing by STF-62247. Thus, we have found a small molecule that selectively induces cell death in VHL-deficient cells, representing a paradigm shift for targeted therapy.
Project description:Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a molecularly heterogeneous disease that is intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although therapies targeted to the molecules vascular endothelial growth factor and mammalian target of rapamycin have shown clinical effectiveness, their effects are variable and short-lived, underscoring the need for improved treatment strategies for RCC. Here, we used quantitative phosphoproteomics and immunohistochemical profiling of 346 RCC specimens and determined that Src kinase signaling is elevated in RCC cells that retain wild-type von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein expression. RCC cell lines and xenografts with wild-type VHL exhibited sensitivity to the Src inhibitor dasatinib, in contrast to cell lines that lacked the VHL protein, which were resistant. Forced expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in RCC cells with wild-type VHL diminished Src signaling output by repressing transcription of the Src activator protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), conferring resistance to dasatinib. Our results suggest that a HIF-regulated VHL-PTP1B-Src signaling pathway determines the sensitivity of RCC to Src inhibitors and that stratification of RCC patients with antibody-based profiling may identify patients likely to respond to Src inhibitors in RCC clinical trials.