BMC cancer

Radiosensitization with combined use of olaparib and PI-103 in triple-negative breast cancer.

PMID 25884663


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) shows aggressive clinical behavior, but the treatment options are limited due to lack of a specific target. TNBC shares many clinical and pathological similarities with BRCA-deficient breast cancer, for which poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor is effective, but PARP inhibitor alone failed to show clinical effects in patients with sporadic TNBC. Radiation induces DNA double-strand breaks, and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway has been known to regulate steady-state levels of homologous recombination. A recent preclinical study showed that PI3K inhibition impairs BRCA1/2 expression and sensitizes BRCA-proficient TNBC to PARP inhibition. Therefore, we assessed the radiosensitizing effect, and the underlying mechanism of combination treatment with PARP inhibitor olaparib and PI3K inhibitor PI-103 in BRCA-proficient TNBC cells. MDA-MB-435S cells were divided into four treatment groups, irradiation (IR) alone, olaparib plus IR, PI-103 plus IR, and olaparib plus PI-103 plus IR. Cells were exposed to the drugs for 2xa0hours prior to irradiation, and the cell survival curve was obtained using a clonogenic assay. Western blotting and immunofluorescent detection of γH2AX foci were performed. Xenograft and bioluminescence imaging were carried out to assess in vivo radiosensitivity. Combined use of olaparib and PI-103 enhanced radiation-induced death of MDA-MB-435S (sensitizer enhancement ratio[SER]0.05,1.7) and MDA-MB-231-BR (SER0.05,2.1) cells and significantly reduced tumor volume in a xenograft models (P < 0.001). Treatment with PI-103 showed persistent γH2AX foci, indicating delayed repair of DNA strand breaks. PI-103 alone increased levels of poly(ADP-ribose) and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and downregulated BRCA1. Combined use of olaparib and PI-103 enhanced radiation-induced cell death in BRCA-proficient MDA-MB-435S and MDA-MB-231-BR cells and xenografts. TNBC patients have high incidences of locoregional relapse and distant metastasis, and radiation therapy targets both locoregional control and treatment of distant recurrences such as brain metastasis or other oligometastasis. Targeting of the PI3K signaling pathway combined with PARP inhibition maybe a feasible approach to enhance effects of radiation in BRCA-proficient TNBC.