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Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Feb;13(2):329-40. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0395. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

The selective anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor ASP3026 induces tumor regression and prolongs survival in non-small cell lung cancer model mice.

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Corresponding Author: Masamichi Mori, Pharmacology Research Labs, Oncology, Drug Discovery Research, Astellas Pharma Inc., 21, Miyukigaoka, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-8585, Japan.


Activation of anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) is involved in the pathogenesis of several carcinomas, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Echinoderm microtubule-associated protein like 4 (EML4)-ALK, which is derived from the rearrangement of ALK and EML4 genes, has been validated as a therapeutic target in a subset of patients with NSCLC. Here, we investigated the effects of ASP3026, a novel small-molecule ALK inhibitor, against ALK-driven NSCLC. ASP3026 inhibited ALK activity in an ATP-competitive manner and had an inhibitory spectrum that differed from that of crizotinib, a dual ALK/MET inhibitor. In mice xenografted with NCI-H2228 cells expressing EML4-ALK, orally administered ASP3026 was well absorbed in tumor tissues, reaching concentrations >10-fold higher than those in plasma, and induced tumor regression with a wide therapeutic margin between efficacious and toxic doses. In the same mouse model, ASP3026 enhanced the antitumor activities of paclitaxel and pemetrexed without affecting body weight. ASP3026 also showed potent antitumor activities, including tumor shrinkage to a nondetectable level, in hEML4-ALK transgenic mice and prolonged survival in mice with intrapleural NCI-H2228 xenografts. In an intrahepatic xenograft model using NCI-H2228 cells, ASP3026 induced continuous tumor regression, whereas mice treated with crizotinib showed tumor relapse after an initial response. Finally, ASP3026 exhibited potent antitumor activity against cells expressing EML4-ALK with a mutation in the gatekeeper position (L1196M) that confers crizotinib resistance. Taken together, these findings indicate that ASP3026 has potential efficacy for NSCLC and is expected to improve the therapeutic outcomes of patients with cancer with ALK abnormality.

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