The c-kit tyrosine kinase inhibitor STI571 for colorectal cancer therapy.Cancer Res. 2002 Sep 01; 62(17):4879-83.CR
The c-kit tyrosine kinase inhibitor STI571 exhibits a substantial therapeutic activity in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors respectively associated with constitutive activation of the BCR-ABL and c-kit tyrosine kinases. Human colorectal tumors also express the c-kit proto-oncogene. The present study focuses on the anticancer activity of STI571 in human colorectal tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. The c-kit receptor was identified as a M(r) 145,000 immunoreactive band in human colon cancer cells HT29, HCT8/S11, and HCT116. Cellular invasion induced by 10 ng/ml stem cell factor (EC(50) = 3 ng/ml) in HT29 cells was blocked by 1 micro M STI571 (IC(50) = 56 nM) and pharmacological inhibitors of several oncogenic signaling pathways, namely, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (LY294002), Rho GTPases (Clostridium botulinum exoenzyme C3 transferase), and Rho-kinase (Y27632). STI571 inhibited HT29 cell proliferation (IC(50) = 6 micro M) and induced apoptosis in vitro. These cellular effects were associated with a decrease in tumor growth. We also demonstrated that stem cell factor is a proangiogenic factor in vivo and in vitro. These encouraging results warrant further preclinical investigations and clinical trials on the use of the c-kit inhibitor STI571 as a chemotherapeutic agent in colon cancer prevention and in treatment of advanced colorectal cancers associated with liver metastases.