Anti-tubulin drugs conjugated to anti-ErbB antibodies selectively radiosensitize.
ABSTRACT: Tumour resistance to radiotherapy remains a barrier to improving cancer patient outcomes. To overcome radioresistance, certain drugs have been found to sensitize cells to ionizing radiation (IR). In theory, more potent radiosensitizing drugs should increase tumour kill and improve patient outcomes. In practice, clinical utility of potent radiosensitizing drugs is curtailed by off-target side effects. Here we report potent anti-tubulin drugs conjugated to anti-ErbB antibodies selectively radiosensitize to tumours based on surface receptor expression. While two classes of potent anti-tubulins, auristatins and maytansinoids, indiscriminately radiosensitize tumour cells, conjugating these potent anti-tubulins to anti-ErbB antibodies restrict their radiosensitizing capacity. Of translational significance, we report that a clinically used maytansinoid ADC, ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), with IR prolongs tumour control in target expressing HER2+ tumours but not target negative tumours. In contrast to ErbB signal inhibition, our findings establish an alternative therapeutic paradigm for ErbB-based radiosensitization using antibodies to restrict radiosensitizer delivery.
Project description:Radiotherapy has a high curative potential in localized prostate cancer, however, there are still patients with locally advanced tumours who face a considerable risk of recurrence. Radiosensitization using molecular targeted drugs could help to optimize treatment for this high-risk group. The PI3K/Akt pathway is overexpressed in many prostate cancers and is correlated to radioresistance. Nelfinavir, an HIV protease inhibitor (HPI), was found to block this pathway and to radiosensitize cancer cells of different origin. This is the first study examining the effect of nelfinavir in combination with irradiation on prostate cancer cell survival in vitro as well as on growth time and local tumour control in vivo.The in vitro effect of nelfinavir on radioresponse of PC-3 was tested by colony formation assay with 10 ?M nelfinavir. In vivo, the effect of nelfinavir alone and in combination with irradiation was tested in nude mice carrying PC-3 xenografts. For evaluating tumour growth time, mice were treated with 80 mg nelfinavir/kg body weight, daily at 5 days per week over 6 weeks. Simultaneous irradiation with 30 fractions and total doses between 30 and 120 Gy was applied to calculate local tumour control for day 180 after treatment.Nelfinavir inhibited Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 and showed a minor but significant effect on clonogenic cell survival in vitro with slightly higher cell survival rates after combined treatment. The treatment of PC-3 xenografts with nelfinavir alone led to no significant increase of tumour growth time and no improvement of local tumour control.Despite promising growth delay effects of nelfinavir in other tumour models and first clinical applications of this drug as anti-cancer agent, PC-3 prostate cancer cells express no or only minor sensitivity to nelfinavir treatment alone and no radiosensitizing effect in vitro or in vivo.
Project description:The up-regulation of thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR1) is detected in more than half of gliomas, which is significantly associated with increased malignancy grade and recurrence rate. The biological functions of NADPH-dependent TrxR1 are mainly associated with reduced thioredoxin-1 (Trx1) which plays critical roles in cellular redox signaling and tumour radio-resistance. Our previous work has proved that TP53 induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR) knockdown could notably radiosensitize glioma cells. However, whether TrxR1-overexpressing glioma cells could be re-radiosensitized by TIGAR silence is still far from clear. In the present study, TrxR1 was stably over-expressed in U-87MG and T98G glioma cells. Both in vitro and in vivo data demonstrated that the radiosensitivity of glioma cells was considerably diminished by TrxR1 overexpression. TIGAR abrogation was able to radiosensitize TrxR1-overexpressing gliomas by inhibiting IR-induced Trx1 nuclear transport. Post-radiotherapy, TIGAR low-expression predicted significant longer survival time for animals suffering from TrxR1-overexpessing xenografts, which suggested that TIGAR abrogation might be a promising strategy for radiosensitizing TrxR1-overexpressing glial tumours.
Project description:ErbB-2 is associated with several solid tumours of which breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide. Though anti-ErbB-2 antibody appears to play a significant role in prevention and therapy, naturally occurring anti-ErbB-2 antibody associated with the cleaved ectodomain of overexpressed ErbB-2 self antigen is detectable in patients. It is therefore essential to understand the course of antibody mediated protection during disease progression. 100% of FVB/N(neu) mice expressing mutated, constitutively active ErbB-2 develop mammary carcinoma. It has been shown that vaccination with ErbB-2 associated with a T helper cell epitope P30 can offer protection against transplantable tumour but it is unclear whether the same vaccine protects against naturally developing tumour. We have analysed the course of the disease following prophylactic, and therapeutic vaccination in this spontaneous, eutopic mammary carcinoma model that more closely resembles the human disease. 100% protection against tumour development was observed subsequent to prophylactic immunisation but disease progression was unaffected by therapeutic vaccination. The antibody response exhibited restricted expansion of the Immunoglobulin (Ig) variable (V)-gene repertoire by ErbB-2 specific B cells compared with the non-antigen specific B cell pool and control mice. The serum antibody profile was similar in therapeutically injected mice without any effect on tumour burden.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain tumour in adults with a median overall survival of only 14?months after standard therapy with radiation therapy (IR) and temozolomide (TMZ). In a novel multimodal treatment approach we combined the checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitor SAR-020106 (SAR), disrupting homologue recombination, with standard DNA damage inducers (IR, TMZ) and the epigenetic/cytotoxic drug decitabine (5-aza-2'-deoxycitidine, 5-aza-dC). Different in vitro glioblastoma models are monitored to evaluate if the impaired DNA damage repair may chemo/radiosensitize the tumour cells. METHODS:Human p53-mutated (p53-mut) and -wildtype (p53-wt) glioblastoma cell lines (p53-mut: LN405, T98G; p53-wt: A172, DBTRG) and primary glioblastoma cells (p53-mut: P0297; p53-wt: P0306) were treated with SAR combined with TMZ, 5-aza-dC, and/or IR and analysed for induction of apoptosis (AnnexinV and sub-G1 assay), cell cycle distribution (nuclear PI staining), DNA damage (alkaline comet or gH2A.X assay), proliferation inhibition (BrdU assay), reproductive survival (clonogenic assay), and potential tumour stem cells (nestinpos/GFAPneg fluorescence staining). Potential treatment-induced neurotoxicity was evaluated on nestin-positive neural progenitor cells in a murine entorhinal-hippocampal slice culture model. RESULTS:SAR showed radiosensitizing effects on the induction of apoptosis and on the reduction of long-term survival in p53-mut and p53-wt glioblastoma cell lines and primary cells. In p53-mut cells, this effect was accompanied by an abrogation of the IR-induced G2/M arrest and an enhancement of IR-induced DNA damage by SAR treatment. Also TMZ and 5-aza-dC acted radioadditively albeit to a lesser extent. The multimodal treatment achieved the most effective reduction of clonogenicity in all tested cell lines and did not affect the ratio of nestinpos/GFAPneg cells. No neurotoxic effects were detected when the number of nestin-positive neural progenitor cells remained unchanged after multimodal treatment. CONCLUSION:The Chk1 inhibitor SAR-020106 is a potent sensitizer for DNA damage-induced cell death in glioblastoma therapy strongly reducing clonogenicity of tumour cells. Selectively enhanced p53-mut cell death may provide stronger responses in tumours defective of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Our results suggest that a multimodal therapy involving DNA damage inducers and DNA repair inhibitors might be an effective anti-tumour strategy with a low risk of neurotoxicity.
Project description:Intrinsic tumor resistance to radiotherapy limits the efficacy of ionizing radiation (IR). Sensitizing cancer cells specifically to IR would improve tumor control and decrease normal tissue toxicity. The development of tumor-targeting technologies allows for developing potent radiosensitizing drugs. We hypothesized that the anti-tubulin agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE), a component of a clinically approved antibody-directed conjugate, could function as a potent radiosensitizer and be selectively delivered to tumors using an activatable cell-penetrating peptide targeting matrix metalloproteinases and RGD-binding integrins (ACPP-cRGD-MMAE). We evaluated the ability of MMAE to radiosensitize both established cancer cells and a low-passage cultured human pancreatic tumor cell line using clonogenic and DNA damage assays. MMAE sensitized colorectal and pancreatic cancer cells to IR in a schedule- and dose-dependent manner, correlating with mitotic arrest. Radiosensitization was evidenced by decreased clonogenic survival and increased DNA double-strand breaks in irradiated cells treated with MMAE. MMAE in combination with IR resulted in increased DNA damage signaling and activation of CHK1. To test a therapeutic strategy of MMAE and IR, PANC-1 or HCT-116 murine tumor xenografts were treated with nontargeted free MMAE or tumor-targeted MMAE (ACPP-cRGD-MMAE). While free MMAE in combination with IR resulted in tumor growth delay, tumor-targeted ACPP-cRGD-MMAE with IR produced a more robust and significantly prolonged tumor regression in xenograft models. Our studies identify MMAE as a potent radiosensitizer. Importantly, MMAE radiosensitization can be localized to tumors by targeted activatable cell-penetrating peptides.
Project description:Breast cancer anti-oestrogen resistance 4 (BCAR4) was identified in a search for genes involved in anti-oestrogen resistance in breast cancer. We explored whether BCAR4 is predictive for tamoxifen resistance and prognostic for tumour aggressiveness, and studied its function.BCAR4 mRNA levels were measured in primary breast tumours, and evaluated for association with progression-free survival (PFS) and clinical benefit in patients with oestrogen receptor (ER?)-positive tumours receiving tamoxifen as first-line monotherapy for advanced disease. In a separate cohort of patients with lymph node-negative, ER?-positive cancer, and not receiving systemic adjuvant therapy, BCAR4 levels were evaluated for association with distant metastasis-free survival (MFS). The function of BCAR4 was studied with immunoblotting and RNA interference in a cell model.Multivariate analyses established high BCAR4 mRNA levels as an independent predictive factor for poor PFS after start of tamoxifen therapy for recurrent disease. High BCAR4 mRNA levels were associated with poor MFS and overall survival, reflecting tumour aggressiveness. In BCAR4-expressing cells, phosphorylation of v-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukaemia viral oncogene homolog (ERBB)2, ERBB3, and their downstream mediators extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT) 1/2, was increased. Selective knockdown of ERBB2 or ERBB3 inhibited proliferation, confirming their role in BCAR4-induced tamoxifen resistance.BCAR4 may have clinical relevance for tumour aggressiveness and tamoxifen resistance. Our cell model suggests that BCAR4-positive breast tumours are driven by ERBB2/ERBB3 signalling. Patients with such tumours may benefit from ERBB-targeted therapy.
Project description:The most successful therapeutic strategies for locally advanced cancers continue to combine decades-old classical radiosensitizing chemotherapies with radiotherapy. Molecular targeted radiosensitizers offer the potential to improve the therapeutic ratio by increasing tumor-specific kill while minimizing drug delivery and toxicity to surrounding normal tissue. Auristatins are a potent class of anti-tubulins that sensitize cells to ionizing radiation damage and are chemically amenable to antibody conjugation. To achieve tumor-selective radiosensitization, we synthesized and tested anti-HER2 antibody-drug conjugates of two auristatin derivatives with ionizing radiation. Monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) and monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF) were attached to the anti-HER2 antibodies trastuzumab and pertuzumab through a cleavable linker. While MMAE is cell permeable, MMAF has limited cell permeability as free drug resulting in diminished cytotoxicity and radiosensitization. However, when attached to trastuzumab or pertuzumab, MMAF was as efficacious as MMAE in blocking HER2-expressing tumor cells in G2-M. Moreover, MMAF anti-HER2 conjugates selectively killed and radiosensitized HER2-rich tumor cells. Importantly, when conjugated to targeting antibody, MMAF had the advantage of decreased bystander and off-target effects compared with MMAE. In murine xenograft models, MMAF anti-HER2 antibody conjugates had less drug accumulated in the normal tissue surrounding tumors compared with MMAE. Therapeutically, systemically injected MMAF anti-HER2 conjugates combined with focal ionizing radiation increased tumor control and improved survival of mice with HER2-rich tumor xenografts. In summary, our results demonstrate the potential of cell-impermeable radiosensitizing warheads to improve the therapeutic ratio of radiotherapy by leveraging antibody-drug conjugate technology.
Project description:Established as a potent anti-malaria medicine, artemisinin-based drugs have been suggested to have anti-tumour activity in some cancers. Although the mechanism is poorly understood, it has been suggested that artemisinin induces apoptotic cell death. Here, we show that the artemisinin analogue artesunate (ART) effectively induces cell death in RT4 schwannoma cells and human primary schwannoma cells. Interestingly, our data indicate for first time that the cell death induced by ART is largely dependent on necroptosis. ART appears to inhibit autophagy, which may also contribute to the cell death. Our data in human schwannoma cells show that ART can be combined with the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) to potentiate the cell death. Thus, this study suggests that artemisinin-based drugs may be used in certain tumours where cells are necroptosis competent, and the drugs may act in synergy with apoptosis inducers or autophagy inhibitors to enhance their anti-tumour activity.
Project description:The Cancer Genome Atlas analysis revealed that somatic EGFR, receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-2 (ERBB2), Erb-B2 receptor tyrosine kinase 3 (ERBB3) and Erb-B2 receptor tyrosine kinase 4 (ERBB4) gene mutations (ERBB family mutations) occur alone or co-occur with somatic mutations in the gene encoding the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit (PIK3CA) in 19% of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancers. Because ERBB family mutations can activate the PI3K/AKT pathway and likely have similar canonical signalling effects to PI3K pathway mutations, we investigated their combined impact on response to neoadjuvant HER2-targeted therapies.Baseline tumour biopsies were available from 74 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer who were enrolled in the phase II TCHL neoadjuvant study (ICORG 10-05) assessing TCH (docetaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab) (n?=?38) versus TCL (docetaxel, carboplatin, lapatinib) (n?=?10) versus TCHL (docetaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab, lapatinib) (n?=?40), each for six cycles. Activating mutations in PIK3CA and ERBB family genes were identified using mass spectrometry-based genotyping. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry.PIK3CA and/or ERBB family mutations were detected in 23 (31.1%) tumour samples tested, whereas PTEN expression was low in 31.1% of cases tested. Mutation frequency was similar in each treatment arm (31.3% in TCH arm, 30% in TCL arm and 31.3% in TCHL arm) and was not influenced by oestrogen receptor (ER) status (27.6% in ER-negative patients, 33.3% in ER-positive patients) or progesterone receptor (PR) status (32.6% in PR-negative patients, 29% in PR-positive patients). There was no significant difference in pathological complete response (pCR) rates between 47 patients with wild-type (WT) tumours and 22 patients whose tumours carried mutations (in either PIK3CA or ERBB family genes) (42.5% vs. 54.5%; p?=?0.439). Similarly, there was no significant difference in pCR rates between patients with PIK3CA/ERBB family mutated/PTEN-low (i.e., PI3K-activated) tumours and patients without PI3K activation (50% vs. 44%; p?=?0.769). However, in the TCHL (but not the TCH) group, the pCR rate was higher for 9 patients with PIK3CA/ERBB family mutated tumours than for 20 patients with PIK3CA/ERBB family WT tumours (77.8% vs. 35%; p?=?0.05).Our results indicate that patients who receive neoadjuvant TCHL and have PIK3CA/ERBB family mutated tumours may be more likely to have a pCR than patients with WT tumours.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01485926 . Registered on 2 December 2011.
Project description:Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) regulate inflammation and immunity in mammalian tissues1,2. Although ILC2s are found in cancers of these tissues3, their roles in cancer immunity and immunotherapy are unclear. Here we show that ILC2s infiltrate pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) to activate tissue-specific tumour immunity. Interleukin-33 (IL33) activates tumour ILC2s (TILC2s) and CD8+ T cells in orthotopic pancreatic tumours but not heterotopic skin tumours in mice to restrict pancreas-specific tumour growth. Resting and activated TILC2s express the inhibitory checkpoint receptor PD-1. Antibody-mediated PD-1 blockade relieves ILC2 cell-intrinsic PD-1 inhibition to expand TILC2s, augment anti-tumour immunity, and enhance tumour control, identifying activated TILC2s as targets of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Finally, both PD-1+ TILC2s and PD-1+ T cells are present in most human PDACs. Our results identify ILC2s as anti-cancer immune cells for PDAC immunotherapy. More broadly, ILC2s emerge as tissue-specific enhancers of cancer immunity that amplify the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. As ILC2s and T cells co-exist in human cancers and share stimulatory and inhibitory pathways, immunotherapeutic strategies to collectively target anti-cancer ILC2s and T cells may be broadly applicable.