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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Oct;59(4):642-7. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24004. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Sorafenib inhibits neuroblastoma cell proliferation and signaling, blocks angiogenesis, and impairs tumor growth.

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Departments of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



More effective therapy for children with high-risk neuroblastoma is desperately needed. Preclinical studies have shown that neuroblastoma tumor growth can be inhibited by agents that block angiogenesis. We hypothesized that drugs which target both neuroblastoma cells and tumor angiogenesis would have potent anti-tumor activity. In this study we tested the effects of sorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, on neuroblastoma cell proliferation and signaling, and in mice with subcutaneous human neuroblastoma xenografts or orthotopic adrenal tumors.


Mice with subcutaneous neuroblastoma xenografts or orthotopic adrenal tumors were treated with sorafenib, and tumor growth rates were measured. Blood vessel architecture and vascular density were evaluated histologically in treated and control neuroblastoma tumors. The in vitro effects of sorafenib on neuroblastoma proliferation, cell cycle, and signaling were also evaluated.


Sorafenib inhibited tumor growth in mice with subcutaneous and orthotopic adrenal tumors. Decreased numbers of cycling neuroblastoma cells and tumor blood vessels were seen in treated versus control tumors, and the blood vessels in the treated tumors had more normal architecture. Sorafenib treatment also decreased neuroblastoma cell proliferation, attenuated ERK signaling, and enhanced G(1) /G(0) cell cycle arrest in vitro.


Our results demonstrate that sorafenib inhibits the growth of neuroblastoma tumors by targeting both neuroblastoma cells and tumor blood vessels. Single agent sorafenib should be evaluated in future phase II neuroblastoma studies.

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