Sorafenib and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy: A Promising Approach for Treatment of HCC.
ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Sorafenib (Sora) is used as a targeted therapy for HCC treatment. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are applied as a new approach to fight malignancies. Drug resistance and side effects are the major concerns with Sora administration. The effect of using the combination of sorafenib and MSCs on tumor regression in xenograft HCC models was evaluated in this study. Methods and Materials. Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines (HepG2) were subcutaneously implanted into the flank of 18 nude mice. The animals were randomly divided into six groups (n?=?3); each received Sora (oral), MSCs (IV injection), MSCs (local injection), Sora?+?MSCs (IV injection), Sora?+?MSCs (local injection), or no treatment (the control group). Six weeks after tumor implantation, the mice were scarified and tumoral tissues were resected in their entirety. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations were used to measure tumor proliferation and angiogenesis. Apoptotic cells were quantified using the TUNEL assay. Results. No significant difference was found in the tumor grade among the treatment groups. Differentiation features of the tumoral cells were histopathologically insignificant in all the groups. Tumor necrosis was highest in the hpMSC (local)?+?Sora group. Tumor cell proliferation was reduced in hpMSC (local)?+?Sora-treated and hpMSC (IV)?+?Sora-treated mice compared with the other groups. Apoptotic-positive cells occupied a greater proportion in the Sora, hpMSC (IV)?+?Sora, and hpMSC (local)?+?Sora groups. Conclusion. A combination of chemotherapy and MSC can yield to more favorable results in the treatment of HCC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common primary malignant tumor which usually progresses to an advanced stage because of late diagnosis. Sorafenib (Sora) is a first line medicine for advanced stage HCC; however, it has been faced with enormous resistance. Simvastatin (Sim) is a cholesterol-lowering drug and has been reported to inhibit tumor growth. The present study aims to determine whether Sora and Sim co-treatment can improve Sora resistance in HCC. METHODS:The HCC cell line LM3 and an established Sora-resistant LM3 cell line (LM3-SR) were used to study the relationship between Sora resistance and aerobic glycolysis. Cell proliferation, apoptosis and glycolysis levels were analyzed by western blotting, flow cytometry analysis and biomedical tests. A xenograft model was also used to examine the effect of Sim in vivo. Detailed mechanistic studies were also undertaken by the use of activators and inhibitors, and lentivirus transfections. RESULTS:Our results demonstrated that the resistance to Sora was associated with enhanced aerobic glycolysis levels. Furthermore, LM3-SR cells were more sensitive to Sim than LM3 cells, suggesting that combined treatment with both Sora and Sim could enhance the sensitivity of LM3-SR cells to Sora. This finding may be due to the suppression of the HIF-1?/PPAR-?/PKM2 axis. CONCLUSIONS:Simvastatin can inhibit the HIF-1?/PPAR-?/PKM2 axis, by suppressing PKM2-mediated glycolysis, resulting in decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis in HCC cells, and re-sensitizing HCC cells to Sora.
Project description:Galunisertib (LY2157299) is a selective ATP-mimetic inhibitor of TGF-? receptor (T?R)-I activation currently under clinical investigation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Our study explored the effects of galunisertib in vitro in HCC cell lines and ex vivo on patient samples. Galunisertib was evaluated in HepG2, Hep3B, Huh7, JHH6 and SK-HEP1 cells as well as in SK-HEP1-derived cells tolerant to sorafenib (SK-Sora) and sunitinib (SK-Suni). Exogenous stimulation of all HCC cell lines with TGF-? yielded downstream activation of p-Smad2 and p-Smad3 that was potently inhibited with galunisertib treatment at micromolar concentrations. Despite limited antiproliferative effects, galunisertib yielded potent anti-invasive properties. Tumor slices from 13 patients with HCC surgically resected were exposed ex vivo to 1 µM and 10 µM galunisertib, 5 µM sorafenib or a combination of both drugs for 48 hours. Galunisertib but not sorafenib decreased p-Smad2/3 downstream TGF-? signaling. Immunohistochemistry analysis of galunisertib and sorafenib-exposed samples showed a significant decrease of the proliferative marker Ki67 and increase of the apoptotic marker caspase-3. In combination, galunisertib potentiated the effect of sorafenib efficiently by inhibiting proliferation and increasing apoptosis. Our data suggest that galunisertib may be active in patients with HCC and could potentiate the effects of sorafenib.
Project description:BackgroundThyroid cancer becomes the most common endocrine cancer with the greatest growing incidence in this decade. Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor for the treatment of progressive radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), while the off-target toxicity effect is usually inconvenient for patients taking.MethodsIn this study, hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) with transferrin modification (Tf-HMSNs) were loaded with sorafenib (sora@Tf-HMSNs) to help targeted delivery of sorafenib. Due to the biocompatible Tf shell, Tf-HMSNs exhibited excellent bio-compatibility and increased intracellular accumulation, which improved the targeting capability to cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.ResultsSora@Tf-HMSNs treatment exhibited the strongest inhibition effect of res-TPC-1 cells and res-BCPAP cells compared with sora@HMSNs and sorafenib groups and induced more cancer cell apoptosis. Finally, Western blot analysis was conducted to check the expression of RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway after sorafenib encapsulated Tf-HMSNs treatment.ConclusionOverall, sora@Tf-HMSNs can significantly increase the effective drug concentration in cancer cells and thus enhance the anticancer effect, which are expected to be promising nanocarriers to deliver anticancer drugs for effective and safe therapy for RAI-refractory DTC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The treatment for advanced primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is sorafenib (SORA), while HCC has become increasingly drug resistant with enhanced aerobic glycolysis. The present study aimed to examine the chemotherapeutic effects of a flavonoid proanthocyanidin B2 (PB2) on HCC. METHODS:Five kinds of HCC cell lines and LO2 were used to test the effect of PB2 on aerobic glycolysis. The proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and a xenograft mouse model were analyzed. Lentivirus overexpressed pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) or sh-PKM2 was used to verify the target of PB2. The detailed mechanism was investigated by immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, and western blotting. RESULTS:PB2 inhibited the proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest, and triggered apoptosis of HCC cells in vivo and in vitro. PB2 also suppressed glucose uptake and lactate levels via the direct inhibition of the key glycolytic enzyme, PKM2. In addition, PKM2 inhibited the nuclear translocation of PKM2 and co-localization of PKM2/HIF-1? in the nucleus, leading to the inhibition of aerobic glycolysis. Co-treatment with PB2 was also effective in enhancing the chemosensitivity of SORA. CONCLUSIONS:PB2 inhibited the expression and nuclear translocation of PKM2, therefore disrupting the interaction between PKM2/HSP90/HIF-1?, to suppress aerobic glycolysis and proliferation, and trigger apoptosis in HCC via HIF-1?-mediated transcription suppression.
Project description:JX-594 is a targeted and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) expressing oncolytic poxvirus designed to selectively replicate in and destroy cancer cells through viral oncolysis and tumor-specific immunity. In a phase 1 trial, JX-594 injection into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was well-tolerated and associated with viral replication, decreased tumor perfusion, and tumor necrosis. We hypothesized that JX-594 and sorafenib, a small molecule inhibitor of B-raf and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) approved for HCC, would have clinical benefit in combination given their demonstrated efficacy in HCC patients and their complementary mechanisms-of-action. HCC cell lines were uniformly sensitive to JX-594. Anti-raf kinase effects of concurrent sorafenib inhibited JX-594 replication in vitro, whereas sequential therapy was superior to either agent alone in murine tumor models. We therefore explored pilot safety and efficacy of JX-594 followed by sorafenib in three HCC patients. In all three patients, sequential treatment was (i) well-tolerated, (ii) associated with significantly decreased tumor perfusion, and (iii) associated with objective tumor responses (Choi criteria; up to 100% necrosis). HCC historical control patients on sorafenib alone at the same institutions had no objective tumor responses (0 of 15). Treatment of HCC with JX-594 followed by sorafenib has antitumoral activity, and JX-594 may sensitize tumors to subsequent therapy with VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors.
Project description:An antimalarial medication, artesunate (Art), has exhibited promising anticancer effects with excellent tolerability in various types of cancer, suggesting that it has the potential to be used in combination with sorafenib (Sora) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment. To determine the potency of this combination, the present study attempted to quantitatively measure the dose-effect relationship of each drug alone and in combination in liver cancer cells using Calcusyn software. Cell growth inhibition was determined using the CyQUANT proliferation assay in two liver cancer cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7. Drug combination and reduction indices and isobologram plots were used to assess drug interactions. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by measurements of the proportion of cells in the sub G/G phase of the cell cycle, and determination of protein expression levels of cleaved poly ADP ribose polymerase and caspase-9. Additionally, a cell migration assay was conducted using Essen ImageLock plates with an IncuCyte Zoom imaging system. The results of the present study revealed that the inhibitory effect of Sora on cell growth was synergistically enhanced by the combination with Art in HepG2 and Huh7 cells. The combination index and dose reduction index were specific to each cell line. Furthermore, combination at a fixed ratio presented mutual enhancement with respect to apoptosis induction and suppression of liver cancer cell migration. Therefore, considering the low toxicity and well-defined clinical characteristics of Art, combination of Sora and Art may present an attractive therapeutic option in the development of clinical trials for HCC treatment.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with high mortality and the current therapy for advanced HCC, Sorafenib, offers limited survival benefits. Here we assessed whether combining the TLR3 agonist: lysine-stabilized polyinosinic-polycytidylic-acid (poly-ICLC) with Sorafenib could enhance tumor control in HCC. Combinatorial therapy with poly-ICLC and Sorafenib increased apoptosis and reduced proliferation of HCC cell lines in vitro, in association with impaired phosphorylation of AKT, MEK and ERK. In vivo, the combinatorial treatment enhanced control of tumor growth in two mouse models: one transplanted with Hepa 1-6 cells, and the other with liver tumors induced using the Sleeping beauty transposon. Tumor cell apoptosis and host immune responses in the tumor microenvironment were enhanced. Particularly, the activation of local NK cells, T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells was enhanced. Decreased expression of the inhibitory signaling molecules PD-1 and PD-L1 was observed in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and tumor cells, respectively. Tumor infiltration by monocytic-myeloid derived suppressor cells (Mo-MDSC) was also reduced indicating the reversion of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Our data demonstrated that the combinatorial therapy with poly-ICLC and Sorafenib enhances tumor control and local immune response hence providing a rationale for future clinical studies.
Project description:HCC is a common malignancy worldwide and surgery or reginal treatments are deemed insufficient for advanced-stage disease. Sorafenib is an inhibitor of many kinases and was shown to benefit advanced HCC patients. However, resistance emerges soon after initial treatment, limiting the clinical benefit of sorafenib, and the mechanisms still remain elusive. Thus, this study aims to investigate the mechanisms of sorafenib resistance and to provide possible targets for combination therapies. Through miRNA sequencing, we found that miR-486-3p was downregulated in sorafenib resistant HCC cell lines. Cell viability experiments showed increased miR-486-3p expression could induce cell apoptosis while miR-486-3p knockdown by CRISPR-CAS9 technique could reduce cell apoptosis in sorafenib treatment. Clinical data also indicated that miR-486-3p level was downregulated in tumor tissue compared with adjacent normal tissue in HCC patients. Mechanism dissections showed that FGFR4 and EGFR were the targets of miR-486-3p, which was verified by luciferase reporter assay. Importantly, FGFR4 or EGFR selective inhibitor could enhance sorafenib efficacy in the resistant cells. Moreover, in vivo sorafenib resistant model identified that over-expressing miR-486-3p by lentivirus injection could overcome sorafenib resistance by significantly suppressing tumor growth in combination with the treatment of sorafenib. In conclusion, we found miR-486-3p was an important mediator regulating sorafenib resistance by targeting FGFR4 and EGFR, thus offering a potential target for HCC treatment.
Project description:The present study aimed to investigate the anticancer effect of sorafenib combined with silencing of activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and to assess the underlying molecular mechanisms. Huh?7 HCC cell line was selected for the present study. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)?ATF2 sequence was constructed to silence ATF2 expression. The experiment was divided into 6 groups: i) Control; ii) vector; iii) sorafenib (6.8 µM); iv) vector+sorafenib; v) siRNA?ATF2; and vi) siRNA?ATF2+sorafenib groups. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion were detected following treatments with sorafenib and/or ATF2 silencing. Additionally, expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)?? and c?Jun N?terminal kinase 3 (JNK3) was detected using reverse transcription?quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. The current findings revealed that siRNA?ATF2 significantly reduced ATF2 expression. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion abilities in the sorafenib and siRNA?ATF2 groups were significantly reduced compared with the control group (P<0.05). Apoptotic rate in the sorafenib and siRNA?ATF2 groups was significantly increased compared with the control group (P<0.05). The mRNA and protein expression levels of ATF2 in the sorafenib or siRNA?ATF2 groups was significantly reduced when compared with control group. The phosphorylation of ATF2 was also reduced following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silence. Although JNK3 mRNA expression level was not affected, the phosphorylation level of JNK3 was significantly promoted following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silencing. Additionally, TNF?? mRNA and protein expression levels were increased following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silencing. It is of note that siRNA?ATF2 treatment promoted the anticancer activity of sorafenib in Huh?7 cells. Additionally, siRNA?ATF2+sorafenib treatment combined additionally promoted TNF?? expression and phosphorylation of JNK3. Combined siRNA?ATF2 and sorafenib treatment had a greater anticancer effect compared with sorafenib or ATF2 silencing alone. The possible mechanism involved in the anticancer effect of sorafenib and ATF2 silencing may be associated with the activation of the TNF??/JNK3 signaling pathway.
Project description:The herbal extract Benja-ummarit (BU) is a traditional Thai medicine with a putative cancer-suppressing effect. However, this effect has only been tested in vitro in human hepatocarcinoma cell lines. The present study determined the efficacy of a BU extract to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rats in vivo and established its anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative properties. The BU extract was prepared in 95% ethanol and its composition determined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. HCC was induced in Wistar rats by an injection of diethylnitrosamine (DEN), followed 2 weeks later by injections of thioacetamide (TAA) thrice weekly for 4 weeks. Following 2 months, the DEN-TAA-treated rats were divided into 6 groups that were treated orally for another 2 months with: i) No treatment; ii) vehicle; iii) 30 mg/kg sorafenib (SF); iv) 1 mg/kg BU; v) 10 mg/kg BU; or vi) 50 mg/kg BU. Liver samples were collected for gross morphological, histological, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and western blot analyses, and serum samples were collected for liver function tests. The size and number of the cancer nodules were reduced ~10-fold in BU-treated HCC groups and ~14-fold in the SF-treated group compared with the HCC group. Furthermore, the serum parameters of liver damage were lower in BU-compared with SF-treated rats. These results indicate that while each of these formulations strongly reduce HCC expansion, BU extract results in less liver damage. Vascular endothelial growth factor expression was reduced significantly in the BU-and SF-treated HCC groups compared with the HCC group (P<0.05). BU extract antagonizes HCC growth in vivo potently through inhibiting tumor angiogenesis. BU, therefore, qualifies as a promising medical herb requiring further evaluation as a treatment of HCC.