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Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 Jul;11(7):1565-75. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0938. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

Preclinical analysis of the γ-secretase inhibitor PF-03084014 in combination with glucocorticoids in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Department of Pathology, Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALL) and lymphomas are aggressive hematologic cancers frequently associated with activating mutations in NOTCH1. Early studies identified NOTCH1 as an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of T-ALL through the use of γ-secretase inhibitors (GSI). Here, we characterized the interaction between PF-03084014, a clinically relevant GSI, and dexamethasone in preclinical models of glucocorticoid-resistant T-ALL. Combination treatment of the GSI PF-03084014 with glucocorticoids induced a synergistic antileukemic effect in human T-ALL cell lines and primary human T-ALL patient samples. Mechanistically PF-03084014 plus glucocorticoid treatment induced increased transcriptional upregulation of the glucocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid target genes. Treatment with PF-03084014 and glucocorticoids in combination was highly efficacious in vivo, with enhanced reduction of tumor burden in a xenograft model of T-ALL. Finally, glucocorticoid treatment effectively reversed PF-03084014-induced gastrointestinal toxicity via inhibition of goblet cell metaplasia. These results warrant the analysis of PF-03084014 and glucocorticoids in combination for the treatment of glucocorticoid-resistant T-ALL.

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