YM155, a novel survivin suppressant, enhances taxane-induced apoptosis and tumor regression in a human Calu 6 lung cancer xenograft model
Survivin, an apoptotic inhibitor, is overexpressed in the majority of human tumor types and represents a novel target for anticancer therapy. Taxanes induce a mitotic cell-cycle block through the inhibition of microtubule depolymerization, with subsequent elevated expression/stabilization of survivin. We investigated the administration of survivin suppressant YM155 monobromide (YM155), in combination with docetaxel, in a human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) xenograft model. Animals received a 7-day continuous infusion of YM155, 2 mg/kg, and/or three bolus doses of docetaxel, 20 mg/kg, according to three dosing schedules: YM155 administered concomitantly with docetaxel, before docetaxel, and after docetaxel. YM155 administered either concomitantly with or before docetaxel showed significant antitumor activity (tumor regression ≥99%), with complete regression of the established human NSCLC-derived tumors in mice (eight of eight and seven of eight animals, respectively). Significantly fewer complete responses (three of eight animals) were achieved when YM155 was administered after docetaxel. No statistically significant decreases in body weight were observed in the combination versus docetaxel groups. YM155 administered concomitantly with docetaxel resulted in significant decreases in mitotic and proliferative indices, and in a significant increase in the apoptosis index. Elevated survivin expression was seen in tumors from mice treated with docetaxel alone; a significant reduction in survivin expression was seen in tumors from mice treated with YM155 alone or in combination with docetaxel, but not in the control group. These results indicate that in a human NSCLC xenograft model YM155 in combination with docetaxel diminished the accumulation of survivin by docetaxel and induced more intense apoptosis and enhanced antitumor activity, compared with single-agent YM155 or docetaxel.