PDF file, 995KB, YM155 inhibits tumor cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Cell proliferation in tumor cells (UM-SCC-74A or CAL27-CisR) or human oral keratinocytes (HOK) was assessed by MTT assay after 72 hrs.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTCisplatin is one of the commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, acquisition of cisplatin resistance is common in patients with HNSCC, and it often leads to local and distant failure. In this study, we showed that survivin expression is significantly upregulated in HNSCC primary tumors and cell lines. In addition, survivin levels were significantly higher in human papilloma virus–negative patients that normally respond poorly to cisplatin treatment. Survivin expression was further increased in cisplatin-resistant cells (CAL27-CisR) as compared with its parent cells (CAL27). Therefore, we hypothesized that targeting of survivin in HNSCC could reverse the resistant phenotype in tumor cells, thereby enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of cisplatin. We used both in vitro and in vivo models to test the efficacy of YM155, a small molecule survivin inhibitor, either as a single agent or in combination with cisplatin. YM155 significantly decreased survivin levels and cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, YM155 pretreatment significantly reversed cisplatin resistance in cancer cells. Interestingly, YM155 treatment altered the dynamic localization of survivin in cells by inducing a rapid reduction in cytoplasmic survivin, which plays a critical role in its antiapoptotic function. In a severe combined immunodeficient mouse xenograft model, YM155 significantly enhanced the antitumor and antiangiogenic effects of cisplatin, with no added systemic toxicity. Taken together, our results suggest a potentially novel strategy to use YM155 to overcome the resistance in tumor cells, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy in HNSCC. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(9); 1988–98. ©2012 AACR.