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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2009 Jun;16(2):401-13. doi: 10.1677/ERC-08-0130. Epub 2009 Jan 19.

Azacitidine improves antitumor effects of docetaxel and cisplatin in aggressive prostate cancer models.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Medicine, Chair of General Pathology, University of L'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy. festucci@univaq.it

Abstract

One of the major obstacles in the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) is the development of chemoresistant tumors. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of azacitidine as chemosensitizing agent in association with docetaxel (DTX) and cisplatin using two models of aggressive prostate cancer, the 22rv1, and PC3 cell lines. Azacitidine shows antiproliferative effects associated with increased proportion of cells in G0/G1 and evident apoptosis in 22rv1 cells and increased proportion of cells in G2/M phase with the absence of acute cell killing in PC3 cells. In vivo, azacitidine (0.8 mg/kg i.p.) reduced tumor proliferation and induced apoptosis in both xenografts upmodulating the expression of p16INKA, Bax, Bak, p21/WAF1, and p27/KIP1, and inhibiting the activation of Akt activity and the expression of cyclin D1, Bcl-2, and Bcl-XL. In vitro treatments with azacitidine lead to upregulation of cleaved caspase 3 and PARP. BCl2 antagonists, such as HA-14-1, enhanced the effects of azacitidine in these two prostate cancer models. In addition, azacitidine showed synergistic effects with both DTX and cisplatin. In vivo this agent caused tumor growth delay without complete regression in xenograft systems. Azacitidine sensitized PC3 and 22rv1 xenografts to DTX and cisplatin treatments. These combinations were also tolerable in mice and superior to either agent alone. As DTX is the standard first-line chemotherapy for HRPC, the development of DTX-based combination therapies is of great interest in this disease stage. Our results provide a rationale for clinical trials on combination treatments with azacitidine in patients with hormone-refractory and chemoresistant prostate tumors.

PMID:
19153211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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