Targeting bone-microenvironment-tumour cell interactions : IGF-1 receptor kinase inhibitors.
Logan, John Gordon
Bone metastases are a frequent clinical complication associated with cancer. The aim of this PhD thesis was to set up a model system for the study of tumour cell – bone cell interactions in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo and to use this system to test the efficacy of a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of osteolytic bone disease. Co-culture or conditioned medium studies using human or mouse cancer cell lines were used to develop an in vitro model system of tumour cell – bone cell interactions. This showed that osteolytic tumour cells enhance osteoclast formation, fusion and resorption through the production of various factors that act directly on osteoclasts and their precursors. And in addition, that osteolytic tumour cells also enhance osteoclastogenesis indirectly via increasing the production of RANKL in osteoblasts. Other effects on osteoblasts included reductions in differentiation, migration and adhesion. Successful ex vivo and in vivo models for the study of tumour – induced osteolysis were created using adapted organ cultures and intratibial injection techniques respectively. IGF-1 and its receptor are known to play important roles in both bone metabolism and breast cancer. Therefore a study of the effects of IGF-1 receptor inhibition on tumour cell – bone cell interactions was performed. In vitro studies showed that the novel IGF-1 receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor PQIP significantly inhibited IGF-1 and breast cancer enhanced osteoclast formation. Western blot analysis suggested this may be due to the inhibition of both IGF-1 and cancer conditioned medium induced PI3k/Akt activation. Moreover, treatment of osteoblasts with PQIP inhibited cancer cell conditioned medium induced increases in RANKL production. Ex vivo studies using human MDA-MB-231 – mouse calvarial organ co-cultures demonstrated that MDA-MB-231 cells caused osteolysis and this was completely prevented by PQIP without affecting cancer cell viability. Furthermore, once daily oral administration of PQIP significantly decreased trabecular bone loss and reduced the size of osteolytic bone lesions following mouse 4T1 breast cancer cell intratibial injection in mice. Quantitative histomorphometry showed a significant reduction in breast cancer-induced osteoclast number and activity. Consistent with the significant inhibition of osteoblast differentiation, spreading, migration and bone nodule formation observed in vitro, PQIP also inhibited osteoblast number and bone formation in vivo. No inhibition of in vivo tumour volume was observed. These findings clearly suggest that oral PQIP treatment reduced the rate of cancer associated bone turnover. In conclusion, this thesis successfully demonstrates a model system for investigating tumour cell-bone cell interactions in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo. Using this model system I showed that pharmacologic inhibition of IGF-1 receptor kinase activity using PQIP inhibits osteoclast and osteoblast changes induced by breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and prevents osteolysis ex vivo and in vivo. This indicates that PQIP and its novel derivatives which are now in advanced clinical development may be of value in the treatment of osteolytic bone disease associated with breast cancer.