High NOTCH activity induces radiation resistance in non small cell lung cancer
SourceRadiotherapy and Oncology, 108, 3, (2013), pp. 440-445
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Genetic, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
Radiotherapy and Oncology
SubjectIGMD 6: Hormonal regulation ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; ONCOL 3: Translational research
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Patients with advanced NSCLC have survival rates <15%. The NOTCH pathway plays an important role during lung development and physiology but is often deregulated in lung cancer, making it a potential therapeutic target. We investigated NOTCH signaling in NSCLC and hypothesized that high NOTCH activity contributes to radiation resistance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: NOTCH signaling in NSCLC patient samples was investigated using quantitative RT-PCR. H460 NSCLC cells with either high or blocked NOTCH activity were generated and their radiation sensitivity monitored using clonogenic assays. In vivo, xenograft tumors were irradiated and response assessed using growth delay. Microenvironmental parameters were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Patients with high NOTCH activity in tumors showed significantly worse disease-free survival. In vitro, NOTCH activity did not affect the proliferation or intrinsic radiosensitivity of NSCLC cells. In contrast, xenografts with blocked NOTCH activity grew slower than wild type tumors. Tumors with high NOTCH activity grew significantly faster, were more hypoxic and showed a radioresistant phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate an important role for NOTCH in tumor growth and correlate high NOTCH activity with poor prognosis and radioresistance. Blocking NOTCH activity in NSCLC might be a promising intervention to improve outcome after radiotherapy.
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