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Authors Somnay Y, Chen H, Kunnimalaiyaan M
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Journal Neuroendocrinology Volume: 97 Issue: 2 Pages: 183-92
Publish Date 2013
PubMed ID 22965070
PMC ID 3546174
Abstract

Somatostatin (SST) analogs are mainstay for controlling tumor proliferation and hormone secretion in carcinoid patients. Recent data suggest that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation may potentiate the anti-tumor effects of SST analogs in carcinoids. Additionally, ERK1/2 phosphorylating agents have been shown to suppress biomarker expression in carcinoids. Thus, Raf-1/MEK/ERK1/2 pathway activating drugs may be synergistic with SST analogs such as pasireotide (SOM230), which may be more effective than others in its class given its elevated receptor affinity and broader binding spectrum. Here, we investigate the effects of SOM230 in combination with teriflunomide (TFN), a Raf-1 activator, in a human carcinoid cell line.Human pancreatic carcinoid cells (BON) were incubated in TFN, SOM230 or a combination. Cell proliferation was measured using a rapid colorimetric assay. Western analysis was performed to analyze expression levels of achaete-scute complex-like 1 (ASCL1), chromogranin A (CgA), phosphorylated and total ERK1/2, and markers for apoptosis.Combination treatment with SOM230 and TFN reduced cell growth beyond the additive effect of either drug alone. Combination indices (CI) fell below 1, thus quantifiably verifying synergy between both drugs as per the Chou-Talalay CI scale. Combined treatment also reduced ASCL1 and CgA expression beyond the additive effect of either drug alone. Furthermore, it increased levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2, cleaved poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase and caspase-3, and reduced levels of anti-apoptotic biomarkers. Elevated phosphorylated ERK1/2 expression following combination therapy may underlie the synergistic interaction between the two drugs.Since efficacy is achieved at lower doses, combination therapy may palliate symptoms at low toxicity levels. Because each drug has already been evaluated in clinical trials, combinatorial drug trials are warranted.

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