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Oliva P.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Decio A.,Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research | Castiglioni V.,University of Milan | Bassi A.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: Bevacizumab is being incorporated as first-line therapy with standard-of-care chemotherapy on epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC). We investigated bevacizumab combined with chemotherapy on tumour progression and mouse survival in EOC xenograft models. Methods: Bevacizumab was administered concomitantly with cisplatin plus paclitaxel (DDP+PTX), continued after induction (maintenance) or started after chemotherapy. The effect on tumour progression was monitored by bioluminescence imaging (BLI) (1A9-luc xenograft). Tumour dissemination into the peritoneal organs and ascites formation (HOC22 xenograft) was evaluated by histological analysis at the end of treatment (interim) and at euthanasia (survival). The effects on overall survival (OS) were investigated in both EOC models. Results: Bevacizumab with PTX+DDP delayed tumour progression in mice bearing EOC xenografts. OS was significantly extended, with complete responses, by bevacizumab continued after stopping chemotherapy in the HOC22 xenograft. Bevacizumab alone inhibited ascites formation, with only limited effect on tumour burden, but combined with PTX+DDP reduced ascites and metastases. Bevacizumab started after induction with PTX+DDP and maintained was equally effective on tumour progression and survival on 1A9-luc xenograft. Conclusion: Bevacizumab combined with chemotherapy not only affected tumour progression, but when administered as maintenance regimen significantly prolonged survival, reducing ascites, and tumour dissemination. We believe our findings are consistent with the clinical results and shed light on the potential effects of this kind of treatment on tumour progression. © 2012 Cancer Research UK All rights reserved.

Decio A.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastasis | Taraboletti G.,Laboratory of Biology and Treatment of Metastasis | Patton V.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | Alzani R.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2014

Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) has been reported to promote tumor progression in several tumor types, mainly through the stimulation of lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis. However, the expression and biological significance of the VEGFC/VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-3 pathway in ovarian cancer growth and dissemination are unclear, and have been investigated in this study. Soluble VEGFC was detected in the plasma and ascites of patients with ovarian carcinoma, and VEGFR3 expression was found in their tumor tissues. In human ovarian carcinoma xenograft models, high levels of soluble VEGFC in ascites and serum were detected, in association with disease progression, tumor burden, and volume of ascites. Peak VEGFC expression preceded para-aortic lymph node infiltration by HOC8 neoplastic cells. Histological detection of tumor cells in blood and lymphatic vessels indicated both hematogenous and lymphatic dissemination. Overexpression of VEGFC in the VEGFR3-positive and luciferase-expressing IGROV1 cells promoted carcinoma dissemination after orthotopic transplantation in the ovary of immunodeficient mice. In vitro, VEGFC released by the tumor cells stimulated tumor cell migration in an autocrine manner. Cediranib, an inhibitor of VEGFR1-3 and c-kit, inhibited in vivo metastasis of VEGFC-overexpressing IGROV1 and in vitro autocrine effects. These findings suggest that the VEGFC/VEGFR3 pathway acts as an enhancer of ovarian cancer progression through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms, hence offering a potential target for therapy.

Bindi S.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | Fancelli D.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | Fancelli D.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Alli C.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | And 30 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

A novel series of 3-amino-1H-thieno[3,2-c]pyrazole derivatives demonstrating high potency in inhibiting Aurora kinases was developed. Here we describe the synthesis and a preliminary structure-activity relationship, which led to the discovery of a representative compound (38), which showed low nanomolar inhibitory activity in the anti-proliferation assay and was able to block the cell cycle in HCT-116 cell line. This compound demonstrated favorable pharmacokinetic properties and good efficacy in the HL-60 xenograft tumor model. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Montagnoli A.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | Moll J.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | Colotta F.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2010

The cell division cycle 7 (Cdc7) is a serine-threonine kinase, originally discovered in budding yeast, required to initiate DNA replication. Human Cdc7 phosphorylates the minichromosome maintenance protein 2 (Mcm2), a component of the DNA replicative helicase needed for genome duplication. Inhibition of Cdc7 in cancer cells impairs progression through S phase, inducing a p53-independent apoptotic cell death, whereas in normal cells, it does not affect cell viability. Small molecule compounds able to interfere with Cdc7 activity have been identified and shown to be effective in controlling tumor growth in animal models. Two Cdc7 inhibitors are currently in phase I clinical development. Inhibition of Cdc7 kinase activity in cancer cells restricts DNA replication and induces apoptotic cell death by an unprecedented molecular mechanism of action. ©2010 AACR.

Balabanov S.,Universitares Cancer Center Hamburg | Gontarewicz A.,Universitares Cancer Center Hamburg | Keller G.,Universitares Cancer Center Hamburg | Raddrizzani L.,Nerviano Medical science Oncology | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The success of Imatinib (IM) therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is compromised by the development of IM resistance and by a limited IM effect on hematopoietic stem cells. Danusertib (formerly PHA-739358) is a potent pan-aurora and ABL kinase inhibitor with activity against known BCR-ABL mutations, including T315I. Here, the individual contribution of both signaling pathways to the therapeutic effect of Danusertib as well as mechanisms underlying the development of resistance and, as a consequence, strategies to overcome resistance to Danusertib were investigated. Starting at low concentrations, a dose-dependent inhibition of BCR-ABL activity was observed, whereas inhibition of aurora kinase activity required higher concentrations, pointing to a therapeutic window between the two effects. Interestingly, the emergence of resistant clones during Danusertib exposure in vitro occurred considerably less frequently than with comparable concentrations of IM. In addition, Danusertib-resistant clones had no mutations in BCR-ABL or aurora kinase domains and remained IM-sensitive. Overexpression of Abcg2 efflux transporter was identified and functionally validated as the predominant mechanism of acquired Danusertib resistance in vitro. Finally, the combined treatment with IM and Danusertib significantly reduced the emergence of drug resistance in vitro, raising hope that this drug combination may also achieve more durable disease control in vivo. © 2011 Balabanov et al.

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