The design of novel targeted or combination therapies may improve treatment options for pancreatic cancer. Two targets of recent interest are nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and cyclooxygenase (COX), known to be activated or overexpressed, respectively, in pancreatic cancer. We have previously shown that parthenolide, a proapoptotic drug associated with NF-κB inhibition, enhanced the growth suppression of pancreatic cancer cells by the COX inhibitor sulindac in vitro. In the present study, a bioavailable analogue of parthenolide, LC-1, and sulindac were evaluated in vivo using a xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer. Treatment groups included placebo, low-dose/high-dose LC-1 (20 and 40 mg/kg), low-dose/high-dose sulindac (20 and 60 mg/kg), and low-dose combination LC-1/sulindac (20 mg/kg each). In MiaPaCa-2 xenografts, tumor growth was inhibited by either high-dose sulindac or LC-1. In BxPC-3 xenografts, tumor size was significantly reduced by treatment with the low-dose LC-1/sulindac combination or high-dose sulindac alone (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemistry of BxPC-3 tumors revealed a significant decrease in Ki-67 and CD31 staining by high-dose sulindac, with no significant changes in COX-1/COX-2 levels or activity in any of the treatment groups. NF-κB DNA-binding activity was significantly decreased by high-dose LC-1. Cyclin D1 protein levels were reduced by the low-dose LC-1/sulindac combination or high-dose sulindac alone, correlating with BxPC-3 tumor suppression. These results suggest that LC-1 and sulindac may mediate their antitumor effects, in part, by altering cyclin D1 levels. Furthermore, this study provides preclinical evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of these agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research