A novel agent SL-401 induces anti-myeloma activity by targeting plasmacytoid dendritic cells, osteoclastogenesis and cancer stem-like cells

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Novel therapies for multiple myeloma (MM) can target mechanism(s) in the host-MM bone marrow (BM) microenvironment mediating MM progression and chemoresistance. Our studies showed increased numbers of tumor-promoting, immunosuppressive and drug-resistant plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in the MM BM microenvironment. pDC-MM cell interactions upregulate interleukin-3 (IL-3), which stimulates both pDC survival and MM cell growth. Since IL-3 R is highly expressed on pDCs in the MM BM milieu, we here targeted pDCs using a novel IL-3 R-targeted therapeutic SL-401. In both in vitro and in vivo models of MM in its BM milieu, SL-401 decreases viability of pDCs, blocks pDC-induced MM cell growth, and synergistically enhances anti-MM activity of bortezomib and pomalidomide. Besides promoting pDC survival and MM cell growth, IL-3 also mediates progression of osteolytic bone disease in MM. Osteoclast (OCL) progenitor cells express IL-3 R, and we show that SL-401 abrogates monocyte-derived OCL formation and bone resorption. Finally, we show that SL-401 also decreases the viability of IL-3 R-expressing cancer stem-like cells in MM. Overall, our study provides the preclinical basis for clinical trials of SL-401 to block pDC-induced MM cell growth, inhibit osteoclastogenesis and target MM stem-like cell subpopulations to improve patient outcome in MM.

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