Sorafenib inhibits tumor growth and vascularization of rhabdomyosarcoma cells by blocking IGF-1R-mediated signaling
Wessen Maruwge1, Pádraig D’Arcy1, Annika Folin1,2, Slavica Brnjic1, Johan Wejde1, Anthony Davis1, Fredrik Erlandsson3, Jonas Bergh1,2, Bertha Brodin1
1Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 2Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; 3Bayer Pharmaceutical Corporation, Sweden
Abstract: The growth of many soft tissue sarcomas is dependent on aberrant growth factor signaling, which promotes their proliferation and motility. With this in mind, we evaluated the effect of sorafenib, a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, on cell growth and apoptosis in sarcoma cell lines of various histological subtypes. We found that sorafenib effectively inhibited cell proliferation in rhabdomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma with IC50 values <5 µM. Sorafenib effectively induced growth arrest in rhabdomyosarcoma cells, which was concurrent with inhibition of Akt and Erk signaling. Studies of ligand-induced phosphorylation of Erk and Akt in rhabdomyosarcoma cells showed that insulin-like growth factor-1 is a potent activator, which can be blocked by treatment with sorafenib. In vivo sorafenib treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts had a significant inhibitory effect on tumor growth, which was associated with inhibited vascularization and enhanced necrosis in the adjacent tumor stroma. Our results demonstrate that in vitro and in vivo growth of rhabdomyosarcoma can be suppressed by treatment with sorafenib, and suggests the possibilities of using sorafenib as a potential adjuvant therapy for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma.
Keywords: soft tissue sarcoma, kinase inhibitors, targeted therapy, vascularization
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