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Sci Transl Med. 2016 Feb 24;8(327):327ra24. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad7842.

Exploiting evolutionary principles to prolong tumor control in preclinical models of breast cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.
2
Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. Department of Physics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA.
3
Department of Women's Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.
4
Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. Cancer Biology and Evolution Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.
5
Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. Cancer Biology and Evolution Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. robert.gatenby@moffitt.org.

Abstract

Conventional cancer treatment strategies assume that maximum patient benefit is achieved through maximum killing of tumor cells. However, by eliminating the therapy-sensitive population, this strategy accelerates emergence of resistant clones that proliferate unopposed by competitors-an evolutionary phenomenon termed "competitive release." We present an evolution-guided treatment strategy designed to maintain a stable population of chemosensitive cells that limit proliferation of resistant clones by exploiting the fitness cost of the resistant phenotype. We treated MDA-MB-231/luc triple-negative and MCF7 estrogen receptor-positive (ER(+)) breast cancers growing orthotopically in a mouse mammary fat pad with paclitaxel, using algorithms linked to tumor response monitored by magnetic resonance imaging. We found that initial control required more intensive therapy with regular application of drug to deflect the exponential tumor growth curve onto a plateau. Dose-skipping algorithms during this phase were less successful than variable dosing algorithms. However, once initial tumor control was achieved, it was maintained with progressively smaller drug doses. In 60 to 80% of animals, continued decline in tumor size permitted intervals as long as several weeks in which no treatment was necessary. Magnetic resonance images and histological analysis of tumors controlled by adaptive therapy demonstrated increased vascular density and less necrosis, suggesting that vascular normalization resulting from enforced stabilization of tumor volume may contribute to ongoing tumor control with lower drug doses. Our study demonstrates that an evolution-based therapeutic strategy using an available chemotherapeutic drug and conventional clinical imaging can prolong the progression-free survival in different preclinical models of breast cancer.

Comment in

PMID:
26912903
PMCID:
PMC4962860
DOI:
10.1126/scitranslmed.aad7842
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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