Bevacizumab/docetaxel association is more efficient than docetaxel alone in reducing breast and prostate cancer cell growth: A new paradigm for understanding the therapeutic effect of combined treatment

Cécile Ortholan, Jérôme Durivault, Jean Michel Hannoun-Levi, Mélanie Guyot, Christine Bourcier, Damien Ambrosetti, Stephen Safe, Gilles Pags

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bevacizumab (Bvz), a Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-targeted humanised monoclonal antibody, provides clinical benefit in combination with docetaxel (DXL), a microtubule-stabilising agent, in the treatment of metastatic breast and prostate cancers. Since VEGF and their receptors are expressed by tumour cells, we hypothesised that Bvz, in addition to its impact on neo-vascularisation, could have an impact on tumour cells and enhance the DXL activity. Hence, we studied the effect of DXL and Bvz on metastatic breast (MDA MB-231) and prostate (PC3) cancer cells lines. Bvz alone did not decrease cell proliferation but in combination with DXL, Bvz enhanced the anti-proliferative activity of DXL. Other anti-angiogenic factors Sunitinib, Sorafenib and Gefitinib enhanced the anti-proliferative effect of DXL. qPCR experiments showed that DXL significantly increased the VEGF and VEGF receptor 2 (VEGF-R2) mRNA levels. Activation of VEGF and VEGF-R2 promoters demonstrated that enhanced mRNA levels are partly due to transcriptional activation. ELISA assays showed that DXL induced accumulation of cytoplasmic VEGF but decreased extracellular levels by 39% (MDA) and 48% (PC3). Cell surface localisation of VEGF-R2 was increased by DXL alone, but decreased after combined treatment of DXL plus Bvz. Abnormal expression of VEGF-R2 was also shown on breast and prostate tumour samples reinforcing the results obtained on cellular models. In conclusion, DXL and Bvz in combination decreased extracellular VEGF and VEGF-R2 levels at the plasma membrane thereby blocking an important growth/survival loop. Thus, the combined therapeutic impact of Bvz and DXL observed in clinical trials is associated with enhanced anti-proliferative activity and inhibition of the vascular network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3022-3036
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume46
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Bevacizumab
  • Breast and prostate tumours
  • Docetaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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