Combining radiotherapy with MEK1/2, STAT5 or STAT6 inhibition reduces survival of head and neck cancer lines
SourceMolecular Cancer, 12, 1, (2013), pp. 133
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Genetic, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
SubjectIGMD 6: Hormonal regulation ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; ONCOL 3: Translational research
BACKGROUND: Kinases downstream of growth factor receptors have been implicated in radioresistance and are, therefore, attractive targets to improve radiotherapy outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. METHODS: An antibody-based array was used to quantify the expression levels of multiple phospho-kinases involved in growth factor signaling in nine untreated or irradiated HNSCC lines. Radiosensitivity was assessed with clonogenic cell survival assays and correlated with the expression levels of the phospho-kinases. Inhibitors of the kinases that were associated with radiosensitivity were tested for their ability to increase radiosensitivity in the 3 most radioresistant HNSCC lines. RESULTS: The basal expression of phosphorylated Yes, Src and STAT5A, and the expression after radiotherapy of phosphorylated AKT, MSK1/2, Src, Lyn, Fyn, Hck, and STAT6, were correlated with radiosensitivity in the panel of HNSCC lines. In combination with radiotherapy, inhibitors of AKT, p38 and Src Family Kinases (SFK) were variably able to reduce survival, whereas MEK1/2, STAT5 and STAT6 inhibition reduced survival in all cell lines. The combined effect of radiotherapy and the kinase inhibitors on cell survival was mostly additive, although also supra-additive effects were observed for AKT, MEK1/2, p38 and STAT5 inhibition. CONCLUSIONS: Kinases of the AKT, MAPK, STAT and SFK pathways correlated with radiosensitivity in a panel of HNSCC lines. Particularly inhibitors against MEK1/2, STAT5 and STAT6 were able to decrease survival in combination with radiotherapy. Hence, inhibitors against these kinases have the potential to improve radiotherapy outcome in HNSCC patients and further research is warranted to confirm this in vivo.
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