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Oncotarget. 2017 Sep 12;8(47):81776-81793. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.20819. eCollection 2017 Oct 10.

Anti-pancreatic cancer activity of ONC212 involves the unfolded protein response (UPR) and is reduced by IGF1-R and GRP78/BIP.

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Department of Hematology/Oncology, Laboratory of Translational Oncology and Experimental Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular Therapeutics Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Biostatistics Department, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Oncoceutics, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Hematology/Oncology, Molecular Therapeutics Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Pancreatic cancer is chemo-resistant and metastasizes early with an overall five-year survival of ∼8.2%. First-in-class imipridone ONC201 is a small molecule in clinical trials with anti-cancer activity. ONC212, a fluorinated-ONC201 analogue, shows preclinical efficacy in melanoma and hepatocellular-cancer models. We investigated efficacy of ONC201 and ONC212 against pancreatic cancer cell lines (N=16 including 9 PDX-cell lines). We demonstrate ONC212 efficacy in 4 in-vivo models including ONC201-resistant tumors. ONC212 is active in pancreatic cancer as single agent or in combination with 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, oxaliplatin or RTK inhibitor crizotinib. Based on upregulation of pro-survival IGF1-R in some tumors, we found an active combination of ONC212 with inhibitor AG1024, including in vivo. We show a rationale for targeting pancreatic cancer using ONC212 combined with targeting the unfolded-protein response and ER chaperones such as GRP78/BIP. Our results lay the foundation to test imipridones, anti-cancer agents, in pancreatic cancer, that is refractory to most drugs.


AG1024; IGF1-R; ONC201; ONC212; pancreatic cancer

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST W.S.E-D. is a co-founder and shareholder of Oncoceutics Inc., and is fully compliant with NIH and institutional disclosure guidelines. V.V.P. and W.O. are employees and shareholders of Oncoceutics Inc. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed by the other authors.

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