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Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 1;23(17):5267-5280. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0533. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Targeting the Wnt Pathway and Cancer Stem Cells with Anti-progastrin Humanized Antibodies as a Potential Treatment for K-RAS-Mutated Colorectal Cancer.

Author information

1
Accompagnement Pharma, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. a.prieur@accompagnementpharma.com.
2
Eurobiodev, Montpellier, France.
3
IMGT, Institut de Génétique Humaine, Montpellier, France.
4
Institut Régional du Cancer de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
5
Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Montpellier, France.
6
Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, CHU Carémeau, Nîmes, France.
7
Departement d'oncogénétique clinique, CHRU Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
8
Groupe Hospitalier Diaconesses Croix St Simon Chirurgie Digestive, Paris, France.
9
Accompagnement Pharma, Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

Abstract

Purpose: Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer suffer from disease relapse mainly due to cancer stem cells (CSC). Interestingly, they have an increased level of blood progastrin, a tumor-promoting peptide essential for the self-renewal of colon CSCs, which is also a direct β-catenin/TCF4 target gene. In this study, we aimed to develop a novel targeted therapy to neutralize secreted progastrin to inhibit Wnt signaling, CSCs, and reduce relapses.Experimental Design: Antibodies (monoclonal and humanized) directed against progastrin were produced and selected for target specificity and affinity. After validation of their effectiveness on survival of colorectal cancer cell lines harboring B-RAF or K-RAS mutations, their efficacy was assessed in vitro and in vivo, alone or concomitantly with chemotherapy, on CSC self-renewal capacity, tumor recurrence, and Wnt signaling.Results: We show that anti-progastrin antibodies decrease self-renewal of CSCs both in vitro and in vivo, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Furthermore, migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells are diminished; chemosensitivity is prolonged in SW620 and HT29 cells and posttreatment relapse is significantly delayed in T84 cells, xenografted nude mice. Finally, we show that the Wnt signaling activity in vitro is decreased, and, in transgenic mice developing Wnt-driven intestinal neoplasia, the tumor burden is alleviated, with an amplification of cell differentiation in the remaining tumors.Conclusions: Altogether, these data show that humanized anti-progastrin antibodies might represent a potential new treatment for K-RAS-mutated colorectal patients, for which there is a crucial unmet medical need. Clin Cancer Res; 23(17); 5267-80. ©2017 AACR.

PMID:
28600477
DOI:
10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0533
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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