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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Molecular Biology - Oncology - Surgery

Investigation of the In Vitro Therapeutic Efficacy of Nilotinib in Immortalized Human NF2-Null Vestibular Schwannoma Cells
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Author: Nesrin Sabha et al.

by Nesrin Sabha, Karolyn Au, Sameer Agnihotri, Sanjay Singh, Rupinder Mangat, Abhijit Guha, Gelareh Zadeh

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are a common posterior fossa brain tumor, and though benign can cause significant morbidity, particularly loss of hearing, tinnitus, vertigo and facial paralysis. The current treatment options for VS include microsurgical resection, stereotactic radiosurgery or close surveillance monitoring, with each treatment option carrying associated complications and morbidities. Most importantly, none of these options can definitively reverse hearing loss or tinnitus. Identification of a novel medical therapy, through the use of targeted molecular inhibition, is therefore a highly desirable treatment strategy that may minimize complications arising from both tumor and treatment and more importantly be suitable for patients whose options are limited with respect to surgical or radiosurgical interventions. In this study we chose to examine the effect of Nilotinib on VS. Nilotinib (Tasigna®) is a second-generation receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor with a target profile similar to that of imatinib (Gleevec®), but increased potency, decreased toxicity and greater cellular and tissue penetration. Nilotinib targets not only the BCR-ABL oncoprotein, but also platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor signalling. In this preclinical study, the human NF2-null schwannoma cell line HEI-193 subjected to nilotinib inhibition demonstrated decreased viability, proliferation and anchorage-independent growth, and increased apoptosis. A daily dose of nilotinib for 5 days inhibited HEI-I93 proliferation at a clinically-relevant concentration in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 3–5 µmol/L) in PDGF-stimulated cells. These anti-tumorigenic effects of nilotinib were correlated to inhibited activation of PDGFR-a and PDGFR-ß and major downstream signalling pathways. These experiments support a therapeutic potential for Nilotinib in VS.
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