The in vitro anti-tumour activity of zoledronic acid and docetaxel at clinically achievable concentrations in prostate cancer

Claire Morgan, Paul D Lewis, Rachel M Jones, Gianfilippo Bertelli, Gerry A Thomas, Robert C F Leonard
Acta Oncologica 2007, 46 (5): 669-77
Bisphosphonates and chemotherapy have increasingly gained favour in the treatment of metastatic hormone resistant prostate cancer. We investigated whether zoledronic acid, at a concentration found at the bone, would enhance the anti-tumour activity of docetaxel in the hormone resistant prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Cells were exposed to zoledronic acid (1 mM) in combination or in sequence with docetaxel (3 nM). Cell viability, apoptosis and markers for inhibition of the mevalonate pathway were analyzed 48 or 72 hours after drug treatment. Reduction in cell viability and increased apoptosis levels were most pronounced with single agent zoledronic acid. Western blot analysis showed an overall reduction in the proliferation marker Mini chromosome maintenance protein 2 (MCM2) and reduction in caspase-3 precursor for all drug treatments and a marked reduction in Rho A levels with single agent zoledronic acid and zoledronic acid-docetaxel sequence. This study highlights the potency of zoledronic acid, when used at concentrations similar to those found at the bone, in reducing cell viability and causing apoptosis. Clinically, these findings suggest that in patients with bone metastases due to hormone resistance prostate cancer, who are not fit enough for systemic chemotherapy, single agent zoledronic acid may have a direct effect on viability of prostate cancer epithelial cells.

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