Topotecan as a molecular targeting agent which blocks the Akt and VEGF cascade in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers

Satoshi Tsunetoh, Yoshito Terai, Hiroshi Sasaki, Akiko Tanabe, Yoshimichi Tanaka, Tatsuharu Sekijima, Satoe Fujioka, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Masanori Kanemura, Yoshiki Yamashita, Masahide Ohmichi
Cancer Biology & Therapy 2010 December 1, 10 (11): 1137-46

OBJECTIVE: Topotecan, a novel topoisomerase-1 inhibitor, is a drug that appears to be effective against platinum-resistant ovarian cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms by which Topotecan treatment inhibits cancer cell proliferation are unclear. We investigated whether Topotecan increases the efficacy of Cisplatin in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer models in vitro and in vivo.

METHODS: We used Cisplatin-resistant Caov-3 cells and Cisplatin-sensitive A2780 cells. We examined the effect of Cisplatin and Topotecan on the cell viability of Caov-3 and A2780 cells by MTS assay. We examined the Akt kinase activity, VEGF and HIF-1α expression after Cisplatin and Topotecan by a Western blot analysis. Moreover, we also evaluated the effects of Cisplatin and Topotecan on the intraabdominal dissemination of ovarian cancer in vivo.

RESULTS: Topotecan significantly inhibited Cisplatin-induced Akt activation in Caov-3 cells, but not in A2780 cells. In the presence of Topotecan, Cisplatin-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis were significantly enhanced in Caov-3 cells. Topotecan inhibited not only Cisplatin-induced Akt activation but also VEGF and HIF-1α expression. Moreover, treatment with Topotecan increased the efficacy of Cisplatin-induced growth inhibition in the intraabdominal dissemination and production of ascites in athymic nude mice inoculated with Caov-3 cells.

CONCLUSION: We herein demonstrated that Topotecan inhibits Akt kinase activity and VEGF transcriptional activation after Cisplatin treatment in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers. We clarified how Topotecan enhanced the clinical activity in the platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. These results provide a rationale for using Topotecan in clinical regimens aimed at molecular targeting agents in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers.

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