The PIM kinase inhibitor, SGI-1776, was tested against the PPTP in vitro (1.0 nM to 10 μM) and in vivo panels (148 mg/kg daily x 5 days for 3 weeks). SGI-1776 exhibited cytotoxic activity in vitro with a median relative IC50 of 3.1 μM. SGI-1776 induced significant differences in EFS distribution in vivo in 9 of 31 solid tumor xenografts and in 1 of 8 of the evaluable ALL xenografts. SGI-1776 induced tumor growth inhibition meeting criteria for intermediate EFS T/C activity in 1 of 39 evaluable models. In contrast, SGI-1776 induced complete responses of subcutaneous MV4;11 (B myeloid leukemia).
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; kinase inhibitors
MK-2206 is a small molecule allosteric inhibitor of Akt/PKB that is undergoing clinical trials for treatment of cancer.
MK-2206 was tested against the PPTP in vitro panel using a 96 hour exposure (1.0 nM-10 μM), and in vivo using thrice weekly dosing for a planned 4 weeks at its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 180 mg/kg.
In vitro, the median relative IC50 value for MK-2206 was 2.2μM. Four cell lines with IC50 values < 200 nM included two ALL cell lines (COG-LL-317 and RS4;11), an AML cell line with an activating KIT mutation (Kasumi-1), and a Ewing sarcoma cell line (CHLA-10). In vivo, MK-2206 induced significant differences in EFS distribution compared to control in 12 of 29 (41%) of the evaluable solid tumor xenografts and in 2 of 8 (25%) of the evaluable ALL xenografts. Significant differences in EFS distribution were most frequently noted in the osteosarcoma panel (6 of 6). A single solid tumor xenograft (OS-31) had a greater than two-fold increase in time to event compared to control animals, with all other solid tumor xenografts showing lesser degrees of tumor growth inhibition. Objective responses were not observed for either the solid tumor or ALL xenografts.
MK-2206 showed its most consistent activity in vitro against ALL cell lines and in vivo against osteosarcoma xenografts. However, no objective responses were observed in solid tumor or ALL xenografts. Further preclinical work evaluating MK-2206 in pediatric models in the combination therapy setting may contribute to its pediatric development.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; MK-2206
AT13387, a non-geldanamycin inhibitor of heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90), was tested against the PPTP in vitro panel (1.0 nM to 10 μM) and against the PPTP in vivo panels (40 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg) administered orally twice weekly. In vitro AT13387 showed a median EC50 value of 41 nM and exhibited activity consistent with a cytotoxic effect. In vivo AT13387 induced significant differences in EFS distribution compared to controls in 17% evaluable solid tumor xenografts, but in none of the ALL xenografts. No objective tumor responses were observed. In vivo AT13387 demonstrated only modest single agent activity.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; HSP90 inhibitors
Despite efforts to intensify chemotherapy, survival for patients with metastatic osteosarcoma remains poor. Overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) in osteosarcoma has been shown to predict poor therapeutic response and decreased survival. This study tests the safety and feasibility of delivering biologically targeted therapy by combining trastuzumab with standard chemotherapy in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma and HER2 overexpression.
Patients and Methods
Among 96 evaluable patients with newly diagnosed metastatic osteosarcoma, 41 had tumors that were HER2-positive by immunohistochemistry. All patients received chemotherapy with cisplatin, doxorubicin, methotrexate, ifosfamide, and etoposide. Dexrazoxane was administered with doxorubicin to minimize the risk of cardiotoxicity from treatment with trastuzumab and anthracycline. Only patients with HER2 overexpression received concurrent therapy with trastuzumab given for 34 consecutive weeks.
The 30-month event-free and overall survival rates for patients with HER2 overexpression treated with chemotherapy and trastuzumab were 32% and 59%, respectively. For patients without HER2 overexpression, treated with chemotherapy alone, the 30-month event-free and overall survival rates were 32% and 50%, respectively. There was no clinically significant short-term cardiotoxicity in patients treated with trastuzumab and doxorubicin.
Despite intensive chemotherapy plus trastuzumab for patients with HER2-positive disease, the outcome for all patients was poor, with no significant difference between the HER2-positive and HER2-negative groups. Although our findings suggest that trastuzumab can be safely delivered in combination with anthracycline-based chemotherapy and dexrazoxane, its therapeutic benefit remains uncertain. Definitive assessment of trastuzumab's potential role in treating osteosarcoma would require a randomized study of patients with HER2-positive disease.
The centromere kinesin motor protein CENP-E plays a crucial role in mitosis, and is an appealing molecular target in cancer. GSK923295A is an allosteric inhibitor of CENP-E that is undergoing clinical evaluation.
GSK923295A was evaluated against the 23 cell lines in the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) in vitro panel using 96 hour exposures to concentrations ranging from 1.0 nM to 10.0 μM. GSK923295A was also tested in vivo against the PPTP acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and solid tumor xenograft panels using a Day 1–3 and Day 8–10 schedule that was repeated at Day 21. The agent was administered via the intraperitoneal (IP) route at a daily dose of 125 mg/kg.
The median IC50 for all PPTP cell lines was 27 nM, with the median IC50 for the ALL panel being the lowest (18 nM) and for the neuroblastoma panel the highest (39 nM). Excessive toxicity was observed for each of the 8 xenografts of the ALL panel in NOD/SCID mice. Thirty-five solid tumor xenograft models were considered evaluable. GSK923295A induced significant differences in EFS distribution compared to controls in 32 of 35 evaluable solid tumor xenografts tested. Objective responses were noted in 13 of 35 solid tumor xenografts, including 9 with maintained complete responses (MCR), and 3 with complete response (CR).
GSK923295A demonstrated significant antitumor activity against solid tumor models, inducing complete responses in Ewing sarcoma, rhabdoid and rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts. These results suggest that CENP-E may be a valuable therapeutic target in pediatric cancer.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; GSK923295A
IMC-A12, a fully human antibody that blocks ligand binding to the Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor, and rapamycin, a selective inhibitor of mTORC1 signaling, have both demonstrated significant antitumor activity against PPTP solid tumor models. Here we have evaluated antitumor activity of each agent individually and in combination against nine tumor models.
IMC-A12 was administered twice weekly and rapamycin was administered daily for 5 days per week for a planned 4 weeks. The impact of combining IMC-A12 with rapamycin was evaluated using two measures: 1) the “therapeutic enhancement” measure, and 2) a linear regression model for time-to-event to formally evaluate for sub- and supra-additivity for the combination compared to the agents used alone.
Two osteosarcomas, and 1 Ewing sarcoma of the nine xenografts tested showed therapeutic enhancement. The combination effect was most dramatic for EW5 for which PD2 responses of short duration were observed for both single agents and a prolonged PR response was observed for the combination. Both OS-2 and OS-9 showed significantly longer times to progression with the combination compared to either of the single agents, although objective response criteria were not met.
The combination of IMC-A12 with rapamycin was well tolerated, and induced tumor responses that were superior to either single agent alone in several models. These studies confirm reports using other antibodies that inhibit IGF-1 receptor-mediated signaling that indicate enhanced therapeutic effect for this combination, and extend the range of histotypes to encompass additional tumors expressing IGF-1R where this approach may be effective.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Rapamycin; IMC-A12
RO4929097 is a potent and selective inhibitor of γ-secretase and as a result is able to inhibit Notch pathway signaling. The activity of RO4929097 was evaluated against the in vivo panels of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP). RO4929097 induced significant differences in event-free survival (EFS) distribution compared to control in 6 of 26 (23%) of the evaluable solid tumor xenografts and in 0 of 8 (0%) of the evaluable ALL xenografts. The most consistent tumor growth delay effects were noted in the osteosarcoma panel. RO4929097 at the dose and schedule evaluated demonstrated little antitumor activity against childhood cancer xenografts.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Notch
Cediranib (AZD2171) is a potent small molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF receptors. Cediranib has demonstrated single agent activity in several adult cancers and is being studied in combination with standard cytotoxic agents in multiple disease settings.
Cediranib was tested in vivo against six childhood tumor xenograft models (4 sarcomas, 1 glioblastoma, 1 neuroblastoma) alone or combined with cyclophosphamide (2 models), vincristine (3 models) or cisplatin (1 model), each administered at its maximum tolerated dose, or rapamycin (6 models).
The combination of cediranib with standard cytotoxic agents was superior to the cytotoxic agent used alone for a single xenograft (one of three xenografts evaluated for the vincristine-cediranib combination). The cediranib-cyclophosphamide combination was inferior to single agent cyclophosphamide in time to event for both models studied and was significantly inferior for one of the models. Cediranib combined with rapamycin was superior to each of the agents used alone in 2 of 6 models and was determined to be additive or supra-additive with rapamycin in 4 models, although the effects were not large.
Cediranib combined with cytotoxic chemotherapy agents demonstrated little or no benefit (and in one case was significantly inferior) compared to chemotherapy alone for the six pediatric cancer xenografts studied. By contrast, the combination of cediranib with rapamycin was additive or supra-additive in 4 of 6 models in terms of prolongation of time to event, though tumor regressions were not observed for this combination.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Cediranib; AZD2171
LCL161, a SMAC mimetic, was tested against the PPTP in vitro panel (1.0 nM to 10.0 μM) and the PPTP in vivo panels (30 mg/kg or 75 mg/kg [solid tumors] or 100 mg/kg [ALL]) administered orally twice weekly. LCL161 showed a median relative IC50 value of >10 μM, being more potent against several leukemia and lymphoma lines. In vivo LCL161 induced significant differences in EFS distribution in approximately one-third of solid tumor xenografts (osteosarcoma, glioblastoma), but in no ALL xenografts. No objective tumor responses were observed. In vivo LCL161 demonstrated limited single agent activity against the pediatric preclinical models studied.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; SMAC mimetic
Genz644282 is a novel non-camptothecin topoisomerase I poison that is in clinical development.
Genz644282 was tested against the PPTP in vitro panel (0.1 nM–1 μM), and in vivo using three times per week × 2 schedule repeated at day 21 at its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 4 mg/kg. Subsequently Genz644282 was tested at 4, 3, 2 and 1 mg/kg in 3 models to assess the dose response relationship. mRNA gene signatures predictive for Genz644282 response in vitro were applied to select 15 tumor models that were evaluated prospectively.
In vitro, Genz644282 demonstrated potent cytotoxic activity with a median IC50 of 1.2 nM (range 0.2–21.9 nM). In vivo, Genz644282 at its MTD (4 mg/kg) induced maintained complete responses (MCR) in 6/6 evaluable solid tumor models. At 2 mg/kg Genz644282 induced CR or MCR in 3/3 tumor models relatively insensitive to topotecan, but there were no objective responses at 1 mg/kg. Further testing at 2 mg/kg showed that Genz644282 induced objective regressions in 7 of 17 (41%) models. There was a significant correlation between predictive response scores based on Affymetrix U133Plus2 baseline tumor expression profiles and the observed in vivo responses to Genz644282.
Genz644282 was highly active within a narrow dose range (2–4 mg/kg), typical of other topoisomerase I poisons.. As with other topoisomerase I poisons, how accurately these data will translate to clinical activity will depend upon the drug exposures that can be achieved in children treated with this agent.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Genz644282
Outcomes for patients with metastatic and recurrent Ewing sarcoma remain poor and a better understanding of the biology of this malignancy is critical to the development of prognostic biomarkers and novel therapies. Therefore, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) has created tissue banking protocols designed to collect high quality, clinically annotated, tumor specimens that can be distributed to researchers to perform basic science and correlative investigation. Data from the COG Ewing sarcoma tissue banking protocols AEWS02B1 and its successor study AEWS07B1 were reviewed in this study. Six-hundred and thirty five patients were enrolled on AEWS02B1 and 396 patients have had tissue submitted to AEWS07B1. The average age of participation was 13.2 years. About 86% were less than 19 years old and only 6% were greater than 21 years of age at diagnosis. When compared to SEER data, approximately 18% of all cases and only 8% of all patients >20 years old diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma annually in the United States have had tumor banked. The majority of participants submitted formalin fixed, paraffin embedded, primary tumor and blood samples. In total, fresh frozen tissue was submitted for only 29% of cases. Only seven metastatic tumor samples have been collected. Although the COG has been successful in collecting tumor samples from patients newly diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, fresh frozen tumor specimens from primary and metastatic disease are critically needed, especially from young adult patients, in order to conduct high quality basic science and translational research investigation with a goal of developing better treatments.
Ewing sarcoma; tumor banking; biopsy; interventional radiology; bone tumor; adolescent and young adult
Osteosarcoma, the most common malignant bone tumor of childhood, is a high-grade primary bone sarcoma that occurs mostly in adolescence. Standard treatment consists of surgery in combination with multi-agent chemotherapy regimens. The development and approval of imatinib for Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and the fully human monoclonal antibody, anti-GD2, as part of an immune therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma patients have established the precedent for use of targeted inhibitors along with standard chemotherapy backbones. However, few targeted agents tested have achieved traditional clinical endpoints for osteosarcoma. Many biological agents demonstrating anti-tumor responses in preclinical and early-phase clinical testing have failed to reach response thresholds to justify randomized trials with large numbers of patients. The development of targeted therapies for pediatric cancer remains a significant challenge. To aid in the prioritization of new agents for clinical testing, the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) has developed reliable and robust preclinical pediatric cancer models to rapidly screen agents for activity in multiple childhood cancers and establish pharmacological parameters and effective drug concentrations for clinical trials. In this article, we examine a range of standard and novel agents that have been evaluated by the PPTP, and we discuss the preclinical and clinical development of these for the treatment of osteosarcoma. We further demonstrate that committed resources for hypothesis-driven drug discovery and development are needed to yield clinical successes in the search for new therapies for this pediatric disease.
pediatric preclinical testing program; osteosarcoma; event-free survival; complete response; maintained complete response; partial response; progressive disease with growth delay; progressive disease
Purpose: Although functional differences have been described between patients with lower extremity bone sarcoma with amputation and limb-preservation surgery, differences have not clearly been shown between the two groups related to quality of life. The purpose of the study was to determine if there is a difference in overall quality of life in lower extremity bone sarcoma survivors related to whether they had an amputation or a limb-preservation procedure while identifying psychological differences for further evaluation. The main hypothesis was that sparing a person’s limb, as opposed to amputating it, would result in a better quality of life.
Patients and Methods: Eighty-two long-term survivors of lower extremity bone sarcoma were studied to make a comparison of the overall quality of life, pain assessment, and psychological evaluations in limb preservation and amputation patients. Forty-eight patients with limb preservation and thirty-four patients with amputations were enrolled in the study. Validated psychometric measures including the Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ), the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, and visual analog scales were utilized.
Results: The overall quality of life of patients with limb preservation was significantly higher than patients with amputation (p-value < 0.01). Significant differences were noted in the categories of material well-being, job satisfiers, and occupational relations.
Conclusion: The overall quality of life of patients with limb-preservation appears to be better than for those patients with amputation based on the QLQ in patients surviving lower extremity bone sarcoma. Further analysis needs to verify the results and focus on the categories that significantly affect the overall quality of life.
sarcoma; quality of life; amputation; limb salvage; orthopedic outcomes
Bulk allograft reconstruction plays an important role in limb-salvage surgery; however, non-union has been reported in up to 27% of cases. The purpose of this study is to quantify average surface contact areas across simulated intraoperative osteotomies using both free-hand and computer-assisted navigation techniques. Pressure-sensitive paper was positioned between two cut ends of a validated composite sawbone and compression was applied using an eight-hole large fragment dynamic compression plate. Thirty-two samples were analyzed for surface area contact to determine osteotomy congruity. Mean contact area using the free-hand osteotomy technique was equal to 0.21 square inches. Compared with a control of 0.69 square inches, average contact area was found to be 30.5% of optimal surface contact. Mean contact area using computer-assisted navigation was equal to 0.33 square inches. Compared with a control of 0.76 square inches, average contact area was found to be 43.7% of optimal surface contact. Limited contact achieved using standard techniques may play a role in the high rate of observed non-union, and an increase in contact area using computer-assisted navigation may improve rates of bone healing. The development of an oncology software package and navigation hardware may serve an important role in decreasing non-union rates in limb salvage surgery.
Although osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumor in children and adolescents, its cell of origin and the genetic alterations are unclear. Previous studies have shown that serially introducing hTERT, SV40 large TAg, and H-Ras transforms human mesenchymal stem cells into two distinct sarcomas cell populations, but they do not form osteoid. In this study, β-catenin was introduced into mesenchymal stem cells already containing hTERT and SV40 large TAg to analyze if this resulted in a model which more closely recapitulated osteosarcoma. Results. Regardless of the level of induced β-catenin expression in the stable transfectants, there were no marked differences induced in their phenotype or invasion and migration capacity. Perhaps more importantly, none of them formed tumors when injected into immunocompromised mice. Moreover, the resulting transformed cells could be induced to osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation but not to adipogenic differentiation. Conclusions. β-catenin, although fostering osteogenic differentiation, does not induce the malignant features and tumorigenicity conveyed by oncogenic H-RAS when introduced into partly transformed mesenchymal stem cells. This may have implications for the role of β-catenin in osteosarcoma pathogenesis. It also may suggest that adipogenesis is an earlier branch point than osteogenesis and chondrogenesis in normal mesenchymal differentiation.
The ability to define osteosarcoma (OS) patients at greatest risk for metastatic progression and non-responsiveness to conventional therapy is currently not possible. Such biomarkers are needed to predict overall prognosis, probability of metastases at diagnosis, and response to chemotherapy. The tissue microarray (TMA) serves as a powerful tool for detecting and validating protein biomarkers across a variety of patients. We constructed a novel outcome-linked TMA to add to and address shortcomings of currently available osteosarcoma tissue resources. To test the utility of our TMA we surveyed the expression of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in osteosarcoma patients using immunohistochemistry. Aberrant regulation of translation initiation is a feature of many cancers. eIF4E is central to initiation of protein synthesis. Its expression and activity have been implicated in tumor formation and potentially malignant and/or metastatic progression in some carcinomas. We found that eIF4E was uniformly expressed in osteosarcoma patient samples. No association was found between eIF4E and outcome in osteosarcoma patients. This novel osteosarcoma TMA provided a facile mechanism to assess the role of a relevant protein biomarker in osteosarcoma.
Tissue microarray; osteosarcoma; eIF4E; immunohistochemistry
PG11047 is a novel conformationally restricted analog of the natural polyamine spermine that lowers cellular endogenous polyamine levels and competitively inhibits natural polyamine functions leading to cancer cell growth inhibition. The activity of PG11047 was evaluated against the PPTP’s in vitro and in vivo panels.
PG11047 was evaluated against the PPTP in vitro panel using 96 hour exposure at concentrations ranging from 10 nM to 100 μM. It was tested against the PPTP in vivo panels at a dose of 100 mg/kg administered by the intraperitoneal (IP) route weekly for 6 weeks.
In vitro PG11047 demonstrated a concentration-response pattern consistent with cytostatic activity. The median relative IC50 for PG11047 was 71 nM. Cell lines of the Ewing sarcoma panel had a lower median relative IC50 value compared to the remaining cell lines in the panel, while cell lines of the neuroblastoma panel had a higher median relative IC50 value. In vivo PG11047 induced significant differences in EFS distribution compared to control in 5 of 32 (15.6%) of the evaluable solid tumor xenografts and in 0 of 7 (0%) of the evaluable ALL xenografts. The single case of tumor regression occurred in an ependymoma xenograft.
Further pediatric development of PG11047 will require better defining a target population and identifying combinations for which there is a tumor-selective cytotoxic effect. The regression observed for an ependymoma xenograft and the exquisite sensitivity of some Ewing sarcoma cell lines to the antiproliferative effects of PG11047 provide leads for further preclinical investigations.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; polyamine
GSK690693 is a small molecule ATP-competitive inhibitor of the pro-survival kinase Akt. Since Akt regulates multiple downstream targets including transcription factors, glycogen synthase 3, the pro-apoptotic protein Bad, as well as MDM2 and mTORC1, it was tested against the in vitro and in vivo panels of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP).
GSK690693 was tested in vitro at concentrations from 1 nM to 10 μM, and against the in vivo panel of xenografts at a dose of 30 mg/kg daily x 5 for 6 consecutive weeks. Three measures of in vivo antitumor activity were used: 1) an objective response measure modeled after the clinical setting; 2) a treated to control (T/C) tumor volume measure; and 3) a time to event measure based on the median event-free survival (EFS) of treated and control animals for each xenograft.
GSK690693 inhibited cell growth in vitro with IC50 values between 6.5 nM and >10 μM. In vivo, GSK690693 significantly increased EFS in 11 of 34 (32%) solid tumor xenografts, most notably in all 6 osteosarcoma models, but not in any of the 8 ALL xenografts tested. No objective responses were observed and only one solid tumor met EFS T/C criteria for intermediate activity.
GSK690693 demonstrated broad activity in vitro, however our results against both the solid tumor and ALL PPTP in vivo panels demonstrate that, as single agent at the dose and schedule used, GSK690693 has only modest antitumor activity.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Akt inhibitor
AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) is a potent small molecule inhibitor of MEK1/2 that is in phase 2 clinical development.
AZD6244 was tested against the PPTP in vitro panel (1 nM-10μM). In vivo AZD6244 was tested at a dose of 100 mg/kg administered orally twice daily five days per week for 6 weeks. Subsequently, AZD6244 was evaluated against two juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA) xenografts using once and twice daily dosing schedules. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was used as a surrogate for in vivo inhibition of MEK1/2 was determined by immunoblotting.
At the highest concentration used in vitro (10 μM) AZD6244 only inhibited growth by 50% in 5 of the 23 cell lines. Against the in vivo tumor panels, AZD6244 induced significant differences in EFS distribution in 10 of 37 (27%) solid tumor models and 0 of 6 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) models. There were no objective responses. Pharmacodynamic studies indicated at this dose and schedule AZD6244 completely inhibited ERK1/2 phosphorylation. AZD6244 was evaluated against two JPA xenografts, BT-35 (wild type BRAF) and BT-40 (mutant [V600E] BRAF). BT-40 xenografts were highly sensitive to AZD6244, whereas BT-35 xenografts progressed on AZD6244 treatment.
At the dose and schedule of administration used, AZD6244 as a single agent had limited in vitro and in vivo activity against the PPTP tumor panels despite inhibition of MEK1/2 activity. However, AZD6244 was highly active against BT-40 JPA xenografts that harbor constitutively activated BRAF, causing complete regressions.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; AZD6244
Seneca Valley virus (NTX-010) is a non-recombinant, replication competent RNA virus that is undergoing phase 1 clinical trials in adults for tumors with neuroendocrine characteristics. Here we have evaluated the antitumor activity of NTX-010 administered systemically.
In vitro NTX-010 was tested against 23 cell lines exposed for 96 hours at 1 × 10−4 to 104 viral particles (vp)/cell. In vivo NTX-010 was administered intravenously once at 3 × 1012 vp/kg. Three measures of antitumor activity were used: 1) an objective response measure modeled after the clinical setting; 2) a treated to control (T/C) tumor volume measure; and 3) a time to event (4-fold increase in tumor volume for solid tumor models), measure based on the median event-free survival (EFS) of treated and control animals for each xenograft.
In vitro NTX-010 demonstrated a marked cytotoxic effect in a subset of the cell lines from the neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma panels. In vivo the most consistent activity was observed for the rhabdomyosarcoma and the neuroblastoma panels, with all four of the alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts and 4 of 5 neuroblastoma xenografts achieving CR or maintained CR. Objective responses were also observed in the rhabdoid tumor, Wilms tumor, and glioblastoma panels.
NTX-010 demonstrated a high level of activity both in vitro and in vivo. Further analysis of existing testing and molecular characterization data may help define the biological characteristics of cancer cells that are associated with response to NTX-010.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Seneca Valley virus (NTX-010)
MLN8237 is a small molecule inhibitor of Aurora Kinase A (AURKA) that is currently in early phase clinical testing. AURKA plays a pivotal role in centrosome maturation and spindle formation during mitosis.
MLN8237 was tested against the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) in vitro panel at concentrations ranging from 1.0 nM to 10 μM and was tested against the PPTP in vivo panels at a dose of 20 mg/kg administered orally twice daily × 5 days. Treatment duration was 6 weeks for solid tumor xenografts and 3 weeks for ALL xenografts.
MLN8237 had a median IC50 of 61 nM against the PPTP in vitro panel. The ALL cell lines were more sensitive and the rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines less sensitive than the remaining PPTP cell lines. In vivo, MLN8237 induced significant differences in event-free survival (EFS) distributions compared to controls in 32/40 (80%) solid tumor models and all (6/6) ALL models. Maintained complete responses (CRs) were observed in 3 of 7 neuroblastoma xenografts, and all 6 evaluable ALL xenografts achieved CR (n=4) or maintained CR (n=2) status. Maintained CRs were observed among single xenografts in other panels, including the Wilms tumor, rhabdoid tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and medulloblastoma.
The in vivo activity observed against the neuroblastoma panel far exceeds that observed for standard agents evaluated against the panel by the PPTP. High levels of in vivo activity were also observed against the ALL xenograft panel. These data support expedited clinical development of MLN8237 in childhood cancer.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; MLN8237
Many childhood malignancies including sarcomas, neuroblastoma and Wilms tumor show the presence of both, active, type-1-insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R), and the autocrine production of its ligands IGF-1/IGF-2. IMC-A12 is a fully human IgG1 antibody that prevents ligand binding to the IGF-1R.
IMC-A12 was evaluated against the 23 cell lines of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) in vitro panel using 96 hour exposure at concentrations ranging from 0.01 nM to 0.1 μM. IMC-A12 was tested in vivo at a dose of 1 mg/mouse administered intraperitoneally twice weekly for six weeks.
In vitro, IMC-A12 induced T/C values less than 50% in only three cell lines, a rhabdomyosarcoma cell line (Rh41) and two Ewing sarcoma cell lines (TC-71 and CHLA-9). In vivo, IMC-A12 induced significant differences in EFS distribution compared to control in 24 of 34 (71%) evaluable solid tumor xenografts. Using the PPTP “time to event” activity measure, IMC-A12 induced intermediate (n=13) or high (n=1) activity in 33 xenografts evaluable for this activity measure, including 6 of 6 rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts, 3 of 5 osteosarcoma xenografts, 2 of 5 neuroblastoma xenografts, and 1 of 5 Ewing sarcoma xenografts. The only objective response observed was observed in a rhabdomyosarcoma xenograft (Rh28) that achieved a maintained complete response.
IMC-A12 demonstrated broad antitumor activity against the PPTP’s in vivo solid tumor panels, with the activity primarily being tumor growth inhibition rather than tumor regression. IMC-A12 showed its greatest activity in vivo against the PPTP’s rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; IMC-A12
Topotecan is a small molecule DNA topoisomerase I poison, that has been successful in clinical trials against pediatric solid tumors and leukemias. Topotecan was evaluated against the PPTP tumor panels as part of a validation process for these preclinical models.
In vivo three measures of antitumor activity were used: 1) an objective response measure modeled after the clinical setting; 2) a treated to control (T/C) tumor volume measure; and 3) a time to event (4-fold increase in tumor volume for solid tumor models, or ≥25% human CD45+ cells in the peripheral blood for ALL models) measure based on the median event-free survival (EFS) of treated and control animals for each xenograft.
Topotecan inhibited cell growth in vitro with IC50 values between 0.71 nM and 489 nM. Topotecan significantly increased EFS in 32 of 37 (87%) solid tumor xenografts and in all 8 of the ALL xenografts. Seventy five percent of solid tumors met EFS T/C activity criteria for intermediate (n=17) or high activity (n=7). Objective responses were noted in 8 solid tumor xenografts (Wilms, rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, neuroblastoma). Among the 6 neuroblastomas, three achieved a PR. For the ALL panel, two maintained CRs, three CRs, and two PRs were observed.
Topotecan demonstrated broad activity in vitro and in vivo against both the solid tumor and ALL panels, with significant tumor growth delay generated in all the panels. These results further demonstrate the validity of the PPTP panel for preclinical testing of new drugs.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; topotecan
To gain a greater understanding of the potential of the Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 in the treatment of pediatric malignancies.
The activity of MLN8237 was evaluated against 28 neuroblastoma and Ewing sarcoma cell lines, and its in vivo efficacy was studied over a range of doses against 12 pediatric tumor xenograft models. Pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and genomic studies were undertaken.
In vitro neuroblastoma cell lines were generally more sensitive to MLN8237 than Ewing sarcoma lines. MLN8237 demonstrated significant activity in vivo against solid tumor models at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD); however, only 2 of 6 neuroblastoma models had objective responses at 0.25MTD. In contrast, MLN8237 induced objective responses at its MTD and at 0.5MTD in three ALL models and in two out of three at 0.25MTD. Pharmacokinetic studies at 0.5MTD demonstrated a Tmax of 0.5 h, Cmax of 24.8 μM, AUC(0–24) of 60.3 μM h, and 12 h trough level of 1.2 μM. Mitotic indices increased 6–12 h after MLN8237 administration. AURKA copy number variation was frequent in xenografts, and expression was highly correlated with copy number.
Objective responses were more frequent in tumors with decreased AURKA copy number (5/8) compared to those with increased gene copy number (2/14). This report confirms the significant activity against both solid tumor and ALL xenografts at the MTD, with a steep dose response. These data support clinical development of MLN8237 in childhood cancer. Because of the steep dose–response relationship, such studies should target achieving trough levels of 1 μM or higher for sustained periods of treatment.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00280-011-1618-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Preclinical testing; Developmental therapeutics; MLN8237; Pediatric cancer
Mapatumumab (HGS-ETR1) is a fully human IgG1 agonistic monoclonal antibody that exclusively targets and activates tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1 (TRAIL-R1). It was tested in vitro at concentrations from 0.01 to 100 μg/ml and in vivo at a dose of 10 mg/kg administered intraperitoneally using a twice-weekly schedule. Mapatumumab demonstrated limited activity against the 23 cell lines of the PPTP in vitro panel with no lines achieving 50% growth inhibition. Mapatumumab induced significant differences in event-free survival distribution compared to controls in 9 of 37 evaluable solid tumor xenografts tested, but in none of the 8 ALL xenografts.
Preclinical Testing; Developmental Therapeutics; Mapatumumab