FGFR3 is overexpressed Waldenström macroglobulinemia and its inhibition by dovitinib induces apoptosis and overcomes stroma-induced proliferation

Abdel Kareem Azab, Feda Azab, Phong Quang, Patricia Maiso, Antonio Sacco, Hai T. Ngo, Yang Liu, Yong Zhang, Brittany L. Morgan, Aldo M. Roccaro, Irene M. Ghobrial

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: There is no standard of therapy for the treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), therefore there is a need for the development of new agents. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) was shown to play a major role in several types in cancer. Dovitinib, an inhibitor of FGFR3, was effective in hematologic malignancies. In this study, we tested FGFR3 as a therapeutic target inWMand tested the effect of dovitinib on cell proliferation and apoptosis of WM cells in the context of BM microenvironment. Methods: The expression of FGFR3 in WM cells was tested using immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Cell signaling in response to stimulation with FGF3 and stromal cells, and its inhibition by dovitinib was performed using immunoblotting. Cell survival and cell proliferation were assessed by MTT and BrdU assays. Apoptosis was measured by detection of APO-2.7 and cleavage of caspase-3 using flow cytometry. Cell cycle was performed by PI staining of cells and flow cytometry. The combinatory effect of dovitinib with other drugs was analyzed using Calcusyn software. The effect of dovitinib was tested in vivo. Results: FGFR3 was overexpressed inWMcells and its activation induced cell proliferation. Inhibition of FGFR3 with dovitinib decreased cell survival, increased apoptosis, and induced cell cycle arrest. Inhibition of FGFR3 by dovitinib reduced the interaction of WM to bone marrow components, and reversed its proliferative effect. Dovitinib had an additive effect with other drugs. Moreover, dovitinib reduced WM tumor progression in vivo. Conclusion: We report that FGFR3 is a novel therapeutic target in WM, and suggest dovitinib for future clinical trial the treatment of patients with WM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4389-4399
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume17
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

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