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Int J Cancer. 2014 Sep 15;135(6):1487-96. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28669. Epub 2014 Apr 17.

Regorafenib (BAY 73-4506): antitumor and antimetastatic activities in preclinical models of colorectal cancer.

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Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany.


Regorafenib, a novel multikinase inhibitor, has recently demonstrated overall survival benefits in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Our study aimed to gain further insight into the molecular mechanisms of regorafenib and to assess its potential in combination therapy. Regorafenib was tested alone and in combination with irinotecan in patient-derived (PD) CRC models and a murine CRC liver metastasis model. Mechanism of action was investigated using in vitro functional assays, immunohistochemistry and correlation with CRC-related oncogenes. Regorafenib demonstrated significant inhibition of growth-factor-mediated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 2 and VEGFR3 autophosphorylation, and intracellular VEGFR3 signaling in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HuVECs) and lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs), and also blocked migration of LECs. Furthermore, regorafenib inhibited proliferation in 19 of 25 human CRC cell lines and markedly slowed tumor growth in five of seven PD xenograft models. Combination of regorafenib with irinotecan significantly delayed tumor growth after extended treatment in four xenograft models. Reduced CD31 staining indicates that the antiangiogenic effects of regorafenib contribute to its antitumor activity. Finally, regorafenib significantly delayed disease progression in a murine CRC liver metastasis model by inhibiting the growth of established liver metastases and preventing the formation of new metastases in other organs. In addition, our results suggest that regorafenib displays antimetastatic activity, which may contribute to its efficacy in patients with metastatic CRC. Combination of regorafenib and irinotecan demonstrated an increased antitumor effect and could provide a future treatment option for CRC patients.


CRC; antimetastasis; antitumorigenesis; multikinase inhibitor; regorafenib

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