Targeting colorectal cancer via its microenvironment by inhibiting IGF-1 receptor-insulin receptor substrate and STAT3 signaling.

PMID 26364612


The tumor microenvironment (TME) exerts critical pro-tumorigenic effects through cytokines and growth factors that support cancer cell proliferation, survival, motility and invasion. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) stimulate colorectal cancer development and progression via cell autonomous and microenvironmental effects. Using a unique inhibitor, NT157, which targets both IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and STAT3, we show that these pathways regulate many TME functions associated with sporadic colonic tumorigenesis in CPC-APC mice, in which cancer development is driven by loss of the Apc tumor suppressor gene. NT157 causes a substantial reduction in tumor burden by affecting cancer cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and myeloid cells. Decreased cancer cell proliferation and increased apoptosis were accompanied by inhibition of CAF activation and decreased inflammation. Furthermore, NT157 inhibited expression of pro-tumorigenic cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, including IL-6, IL-11 and IL-23 as well as CCL2, CCL5, CXCL7, CXCL5, ICAM1 and TGFβ; decreased cancer cell migratory activity and reduced their proliferation in the liver. NT157 represents a new class of anti-cancer drugs that affect both the malignant cell and its supportive microenvironment.

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