Purpose: Aurora A and B are oncogenic serine/threonine kinases that regulate mitosis. Over-expression of Auroras promotes resistance to microtubule targeted agents. We investigated mechanistic synergy by inhibiting the mitotic spindle apparatus in the presence of MLN8237 [M], an Aurora A inhibitor with either vincristine [MV] or docetaxel [MD] in aggressive B-NHL. The addition of rituximab [R] to MV or MD was evaluated for synthetic lethality. Experimental Design: Aggressive B-NHL cell subtypes were evaluated in vitro and in vivo for target modulation and anti-NHL activity with single agents, doublets and triplets by analyzing cell proliferation, apoptosis, tumor growth, survival and mechanisms of response/relapse by gene expression profiling with protein validation. Results: MV is synergistic while MD is additive for cell proliferation inhibition in B-NHL cell culture models. Addition of R to MV is superior to MD but both significantly induce apoptosis compared to doublet therapy. Mouse xenograft models of mantle cell lymphoma showed modest single agent activity for M, R, D and V with tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of ~10-15%. Of the doublets, MV caused tumor regression, while TGI was observed with MD (~55-60%) and MR (~25-50%) respectively. Although MV caused tumor regression, mice relapsed 20 days after stopping therapy. In contrast, MVR was curative, while MDR led to TGI of ~85%. PCNA, Aurora B, cyclin B1, cyclin D1 and Bcl-2 proteins of harvested tumors confirmed response and resistance to therapy. Conclusions:
- Received September 16, 2011.
- Revision received January 24, 2012.
- Accepted February 14, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Association for Cancer Research.