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2-drug combo more effective in treating sarcomas, Moffitt Cancer Center study shows
Date:4/9/2013

tudies on sarcomas-related mutations, such as the p53 gene. They also showed that MK-1775 was an active inhibitor of Wee1 regardless of the p53 mutation status of the tumors in the cell lines tested.

"The toxic effect of Wee1 inhibition on sarcoma cells appeared to be independent of p53 mutation status following our testing sarcoma cell lines with different p53 mutations," Altiok said. "All of them were highly sensitive to MK-1775, suggesting that Wee1 inhibition may represent a novel approach in the treatment of sarcomas. But p53 status was not predictive of response to MK-1775 as a single agent."

Because of the success of that previous research, in the new study the Moffitt team investigated the benefits of MK-1775 alone compared to MK-1775 in combination with gemcitabine, a standard chemotherapy drug. They tested the combination in a number of sarcoma cell lines derived from patient tissues and then in animals modeled with osteosarcoma (bone sarcoma).

"The combination of MK-1775 and gemcitabine demonstrated a synergistic effect in sarcoma cells," explained Altiok. "MK-1775 alone caused tumor cell damage, but when used in combination with gemcitabine, there was increased cell death."

When the research team tested the combination in laboratory animals, they found that gemcitabine alone inhibited 40 percent of tumor growth. MK-1775 alone inhibited 50 percent of tumor growth. However, MK-1775 and gemcitabine together inhibited 70 percent of tumor cell growth.

"Our data demonstrated that MK-1775 alone and in combination with gemcitabine induces significant cell death in high-grade osteosarcoma cells," concluded the authors. "This finding lays an important foundation for future clinical trials with MK-1775, which is a well-tolerated, readily available targeted drug."


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Contact: Kim Polacek
kim.polacek@moffitt.org
813-745-7408
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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