Molecular and pharmacokinetic properties associated with the therapeutics of bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide G3139 combined with free and liposomal doxorubicin.Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Jul; 6(7):2891-902.CC
Bcl-2 is a key apoptosis-regulating protein that has been implicated in mechanisms of chemoresistance for a variety of malignancies by blocking programmed cell death. This study investigated the activity of the Bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (AS ODN) G3139 combined with free doxorubicin (F-DOX) or sterically stabilized liposomal doxorubicin (SL-DOX) to determine the role that drug pharmacodistribution properties may have on antitumor activity using a Bcl-2-expressing human breast solid tumor xenograft model. Administration of G3139 was able to delay the growth of MDA435/LCC6 cells compared with control ODN-treated animals; however, in all of the cases, tumors reestablished after AS ODN treatment. Western blot analyses of Bcl-2 levels of solid tumors showed a sequence-specific down-regulation of the Bcl-2 protein after four daily doses of G3139, which correlated with histological evidence of tumor cell death. Interestingly, the expression of Bcl-2 returned to pretreatment levels during the course of subsequent ODN administration, which suggested the development of resistance to continued Bcl-2 ODN treatment. The antitumor activity of ODN given in conjunction with either F-DOX or SL-DOX was also examined. The combination of G3139 and F-DOX was able to suppress the growth of MDA435/LCC6 cells beyond that obtained with either of the treatments given alone, indicative of synergistic action. Examination of the pharmacokinetics of F-DOX with systemic G3139 administration revealed that elevated tumor drug DOX levels were obtained compared with DOX treatment in the absence of G3139. This effect was sequence-specific and plasma DOX levels were unaffected by G3139 treatment, which indicated possible positive ODN-drug interactions at the tumor site. Combining G3139 with SL-DOX further increased the degree of antitumor activity. The improved efficacy of this combination was attributed to increased tumor drug levels that arise from the ability of SL-DOX to passively accumulate in solid tumors. These results suggest that additional benefits of Bcl-2 antisense ODN may be obtained when it is combined with liposomal formulations of anticancer drugs such as DOX.