The identification of new therapeutic strategies is urgently needed for the management of patients affected by anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) due to their short survival and poor prognosis. Aim of the study was to determine the activity of the combination irinotecan/sunitinib on ATC cell growth in vitro and the antitumor effects in vivo. Proliferation assays were performed for 72 h on ATC cell lines exposed to the combination of SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan, and sunitinib. The simultaneous combination of sunitinib and SN-38, quantified by the combination index, determined a high synergism on ATC cells, increasing the intracellular concentrations of SN-38. Moreover, the synergistic combination greatly decreases the gene expression and the protein levels of vascular endothelial growth factor, colony stimulating factor 1 and ATP-binding cassette transporter G2 in ATC cells. A significant in vivo antitumor effect was observed in ATC xenografts with the simultaneous combination of irinotecan and sunitinib if compared to monotherapy. The simultaneous combination of irinotecan and sunitinib, in vitro and in vivo demonstrated a significant, synergistic ATC antitumor activity, suggesting a possible and rapid translation of this schedule into the clinics.
Cancer Letters – Elsevier
Published: Dec 28, 2017
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