Novel Small Molecule MEK Inhibitor URML-3881 Enhances Cisplatin Sensitivity in Clear Cell Ovarian Cancer.


The Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Advanced clear cell ovarian cancer (CCOC) is a highly fatal malignancy with a scarcity of effective treatment options. CCOC is inherently chemotherapy resistance, but the exact mechanism of this resistance has yet to be established. Prosurvival signaling, such as through the MAPK cascade, is one way in which cancer cells can evade chemotherapy. We have determined that CCOC exhibits baseline elevated levels of MAPK activity, which increase further upon cisplatin exposure. We have developed a novel MEK inhibitor, URML-3881, to test the effect of MAPK inhibition in CCOC. URML-3881 was found to reduce in vitro CCOC viability through apoptosis and proliferation inhibition, yet it failed to induce in vivo tumor regression. Similarly, cisplatin alone had minimal impact on tumor growth, but remarkably, the combination of MEK inhibition and cisplatin led to a significant and prolonged tumor regression. These studies confirm that the combination of MEK inhibition with URML-3881 and cisplatin is superior to either agent alone in CCOC. Our data support the design of future preclinical and clinical studies into the combination of MEK inhibition and platinum-based chemotherapy as a treatment strategy for CCOC.

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