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Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Street J.,University of New South Wales | Pouchy C.,University of New South Wales | Pouchy C.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | And 9 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: The use of b-blockers for the management of hypertension has been recently associated with significant clinical benefits in cancer patients. Herein, we investigated whether b-blockers could be used in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of neuroblastoma. Methods: Seven b-blockers were tested for their antiproliferative and anti-angiogenic properties alone, and in combination with chemotherapy in vitro; the most potent drug combinations were evaluated in vivo in the TH-MYCN mouse model of neuroblastoma. Results: Three b-blockers (i.e., carvedilol, nebivolol and propranolol) exhibited potent anticancer properties in vitro and interacted synergistically with vincristine, independently of P-glycoprotein expression. b-blockers potentiated the anti-angiogenic, antimitochondrial, antimitotic and ultimately pro-apoptotic effects of vincristine. In vivo, b-blockers alone transiently slowed tumour growth as compared with vehicle only (P<0.01). More importantly, when used in combination, b-blockers significantly increased the tumour regression induced by vincristine (P<0.05). This effect was associated with an increase in tumour angiogenesis inhibition (P<0.001) and ultimately resulted in a four-fold increase in median survival, as compared with vincristine alone (P<0.01). Conclusion: b-blockers can increase treatment efficacy against neuroblastoma, and their combination with chemotherapy may prove beneficial for the treatment of this disease and other drug-refractory cancers. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved. Source

Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Tuset M.-P.,University of New South Wales | Street J.,University of New South Wales | Sinnappan S.,University of New South Wales | And 7 more authors.
Angiogenesis | Year: 2013

The anti-angiogenic activity of chemotherapy is both dose- and schedule-dependent. While conventional maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy exerts only mild and reversible anti-angiogenic effects, low-dose metronomic (LDM) chemotherapy was developed to specifically target tumour angiogenesis. However, the long-term effects of either MTD or LDM chemotherapy on vascular endothelial cells have never been investigated. Here, we demonstrated that repeated exposure to MTD and LDM chemotherapy differentially impact on the angiogenic potential and chemosensitivity of immortalized endothelial cells. Repeated MTD vinblastine treatment of vascular endothelial cells led to an increased proliferation rate and resistance to paclitaxel. In contrast, repeated LDM treatment with vinblastine or etoposide impaired the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells and increased their chemosensitivity. This effect was associated with a significant decrease in βII- and βIII-tubulin expression. Functional analysis using siRNA showed that silencing the expression of βIII-tubulin in endothelial cells significantly decreased their capacity to form vascular structures and increased their sensitivity to the anti-angiogenic and vascular-disrupting effects of chemotherapy, whereas silencing βII-tubulin expression had no effect. Collectively our results show that LDM chemotherapy impairs the angiogenic potential of endothelial cells while increasing their chemosensitivity - an effect at least in part mediated by the down-regulation of βIII-tubulin expression. Furthermore, our study suggests that βIII-tubulin represents an attractive therapeutic target to increase the anti-angiogenic effects of chemotherapy and overall anti-tumour efficacy. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Benzekry S.,French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation | Pasquier E.,Metronomics Global Health Initiative | Pasquier E.,Aix - Marseille University | Pasquier E.,Childrens Cancer Institute | And 10 more authors.
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2015

Oncology has benefited from an increasingly growing number of groundbreaking innovations over the last decade. Targeted therapies, biotherapies, and the most recent immunotherapies all contribute to increase the number of therapeutic options for cancer patients. Consequently, substantial improvements in clinical outcomes for some disease with dismal prognosis such as lung carcinoma or melanoma have been achieved. Of note, the latest innovations in targeted therapies or biotherapies do not preclude the use of standard cytotoxic agents, mostly used in combination. Importantly, and despite the rise of bioguided (a.k.a. precision) medicine, the administration of chemotherapeutic agents still relies on the maximum tolerated drug (MTD) paradigm, a concept inherited from theories conceptualized nearly half a century ago. Alternative dosing schedules such as metronomic regimens, based upon the repeated and regular administration of low doses of chemotherapeutic drugs, and adaptive therapy (i.e. modulating the dose and frequency of cytotoxics administration to control disease progression rather than eradicate it at all cost) have emerged as possible strategies to improve response rates while reducing toxicities. The recent changes in paradigm in the way we theorize cancer biology and evolution, metastatic spreading and tumor ecology, alongside the recent advances in the field of immunotherapy, have considerably strengthened the interest for these alternative approaches. This paper aims at reviewing the recent evolutions in the field of theoretical biology of cancer and computational oncology, with a focus on the consequences these changes have on the way we administer chemotherapy. Here, we advocate for the development of model-guided strategies to refine doses and schedules of chemotherapy administration in order to achieve precision medicine in oncology. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Pasquier E.,University of New South Wales | Ciccolini J.,Aix - Marseille University | Carre M.,Aix - Marseille University | Giacometti S.,Aix - Marseille University | And 8 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2011

Recent clinical evidence revealed that the use of beta-blockers such as propranolol, prior to diagnosis or concurrently with chemotherapy, could increase relapse-free and overall survival in breast cancer patients. We therefore hypothesized that propranolol may be able to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy either through direct effects on cancer cells or via anti-angiogenic mechanisms. In vitro proliferation assay showed that propranolol (from 50-100 μM) induces dose-dependent anti-proliferative effects in a panel of 9 human cancer and "normal" cell lines. Matrigel assays revealed that propranolol displays potent anti-angiogenic properties at non-toxic concentrations (<50 μM) but exert no vascular-disrupting activity. Combining chemotherapeutic drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or paclitaxel, with propranolol at the lowest effective concentration resulted in synergistic, additive or antagonistic effects on cell proliferation in vitro depending on the cell type and the dose of chemotherapy used. Interestingly, breast cancer and vascular endothelial cells were among the most responsive to these combinations. Furthermore, Matrigel assays indicated that low concentrations of propranolol (10 - 50 μM) potentiated the anti-angiogenic effects of 5-FU and paclitaxel. Using an orthotopic xenograft model of triple-negative breast cancer, based on injection of luciferase-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells in the mammary fat pad of nude mice, we showed that propranolol, when used alone, induced only transient anti-tumor effects, if at all, and did not increase median survival. However, the combination of propranolol with chemotherapy resulted in more profound and sustained anti-tumor effects and significantly increased the survival benefits induced by chemotherapy alone (+19% and +79% in median survival for the combination as compared with 5-FU alone and paclitaxel alone, respectively; p<0.05). Collectively our results show that propranolol can potentiate the anti-angiogenic effects and antitumor efficacy of chemotherapy. The current study, together with retrospective clinical data, strongly suggests that the use of propranolol concurrently with chemotherapy may improve the outcome of breast cancer patients, thus providing a strong rationale for the evaluation of this drug combination in prospective clinical studies. © Pasquier et al. Source

Launay M.,Laboratoire Of Pharmacocinetique La Timone University Hospital Of Marseille | Dahan L.,La Timone University Hospital of Marseille | Duval M.,Laboratoire Of Pharmacocinetique La Timone University Hospital Of Marseille | Rodallec A.,Laboratoire Of Pharmacocinetique La Timone University Hospital Of Marseille | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2016

Aims: 5-FU is the backbone of most regimens in digestive oncology. Administration of standard 5-FU leads to 15-30% of severe side effects, and lethal toxicities are regularly reported with fluoropyrimidine drugs. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency is a pharmacogenetic syndrome responsible for most cases of life-threatening toxicities upon 5-FU intake, and pre-treatment checking for DPD status should help to reduce both incidence and severity of side effects through adaptive dosing strategies. Methods: We have used a simple method for rapidly establishing the DPD phenotype of patients with cancer and used it prospectively in 59 routine patients treated with 5-FU-based therapy for digestive cancers. No patient with total DPD deficiency was found but 23% of patients exhibited poor metabolizer phenotype, and one patient was phenotyped as profoundly deficient. Consequently, 5-FU doses in poor metabolizer patients were cut by an average 35% as compared with non deficient patients (2390 ± 1225 mg vs. 3653 ± 1371 mg, P < 0.003, t-test). Results: Despite this marked reduction in 5-FU dosing, similar efficacy was achieved in the two subsets (clinical benefit: 40 vs. 43%, stable disease: 40 vs. 37%, progressive disease: 20% in both subsets, P = 0.893, Pearson's chi-square). No difference in toxicities was observed (P = 0.104, Fisher's exact test). Overall, only 3% of early severe toxicities were recorded, a value markedly lower than the 15-30% ones usually reported with 5-FU. Conclusions: This feasibility study shows how simplified DPD-based adaptive dosing of 5-FU can reduce sharply the incidence of treatment-related severe toxicities while maintaining efficacy as part of routine clinical practice in digestive oncology. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society. Source

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