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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jul 1;11(13):4851-6.

Combination therapy of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 and retinoid X receptor ligands synergize on prostate cancer cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, California, USA.


We have previously identified the retinoid X receptor-alpha (RXRalpha) as an insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) nuclear binding partner, which is required for IGFBP-3-induced apoptosis. In the current study, we investigated the biological interactions of the RXR ligand, VTP194204 and rhIGFBP-3, in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, IGFBP-3 and VTP194204 individually induced apoptosis, and suppressed cell growth in prostate cancer cell lines in an additive manner. In vivo, LAPC-4 xenograft-bearing severe combined immunodeficiency mice treated daily with saline, IGFBP-3, and/or VTP194204 for 3 weeks showed no effect of individual treatments with IGFBP-3 or VTP194204 on tumor growth. However, the combination of IGFBP-3 and VTP194204 treatments inhibited tumor growth by 50% and induced a significant reduction in serum prostate-specific antigen levels. In terminal nucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling immunohistochemistry of LAPC-4 xenografts, there was modest induction of apoptosis with either IGFBP-3 or VTP194204 individual treatment, but combination therapy resulted in massive cell death, indicating that IGFBP-3 and VTP194204 have a synergistic effect in preventing tumor growth by apoptosis induction. In summary, this is an initial description of the successful therapeutic use of IGFBP-3 as a cancer therapy in vivo, and shows that combination treatment of IGFBP-3 and RXR ligand has a synergistic effect on apoptosis induction leading to substantial inhibition of prostate cancer xenograft growth. Taken together, these observations suggest that combination therapy with IGFBP-3 and RXR ligands may have therapeutic potential for prostate cancer treatment.

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