Notch3 as a novel therapeutic target in metastatic medullary thyroid cancer
Medullary thyroid cancer portends poor survival once liver metastasis occurs. We hypothesize that Notch3 overexpression in medullary thyroid cancer liver metastasis will decrease proliferation and growth of the tumor.Methods.
TT cells were modified genetically to overexpress Notch3 in the presence of doxycycline, creating the TT-Notch3 cell line. Mice were injected intrasplenically with either TT-Notch3 or control vector TT-TRE cells. Each cell line had 3 treatment groups: control with 12 weeks of standard chow, early DOX with doxycycline chow at day 0 and for 70 days thereafter, and late DOX with doxycycline chow at 8 weeks. Each animal underwent micro-computed tomography to evaluate for tumor formation and tumor quantification was performed. Animals were killed at 12 weeks, and the harvested liver was stained with Ki-67, hematoxylin and eosin, and Notch3.Results.
Induction of Notch3 did not prevent formation of medullary thyroid cancer liver metastases as all mice in the early DOX group developed tumors. However, induction of Notch after medullary thyroid cancer liver tumor formation decreased tumor size, as seen on micro-computed tomography scans (late DOX group). This translated to a 37-fold decrease in tumor volume (P = .001). Notch3 overexpression also resulted in decreased Ki-67 index (P = .038). Moreover, Notch3 induction led to increased areas of neutrophil infiltration and necrosis on hematoxylin and eosin staining of the tumorsConclusion.
Notch3 overexpression demonstrates an antiproliferative effect on established metastatic medullary thyroid cancer liver tumors and is a potential therapeutic target in treatment.