Signaling from other angiokinases may underlie resistance to VEGF-directed therapy. We evaluated the antitumor and biologic effects of BIBF 1120 (nintedanib), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets VEGF receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and fibroblast growth factor receptor in preclinical models of lung and pancreatic cancer, including models resistant to VEGF-targeted treatments. In vitro, BIBF 1120 did not show antiproliferative effects, nor did it sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapy. However, in vivo BIBF 1120 inhibited primary tumor growth in all models as a single agent and in combination with standard chemotherapy. Analysis of tumor tissue posttreatment revealed that BIBF 1120 reduced proliferation (phospho-histone 3) and elevated apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3) to a greater extent than chemotherapy alone. Furthermore, BIBF 1120 showed potent antiangiogenic effects, including decreases in microvessel density (CD31), pericyte coverage (NG2), vessel permeability, and perfusion, while increasing hypoxia. Despite the induction of hypoxia, markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were not elevated in BIBF 1120-treated tumors. In summary, BIBF 1120 showed potent antitumor and antiangiogenic activity in preclinical models of lung and pancreatic cancer where it induced hypoxia but not EMT. The absence of EMT induction, which has been implicated in resistance to antiangiogenic therapies, is noteworthy. Together, these results warrant further clinical studies of BIBF 1120.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research