Research Papers:

Crizotinib and PARP inhibitors act synergistically by triggering apoptosis in high-grade serous ovarian cancer

Irem Durmaz Sahin, Jenny-Maria Jönsson and Ingrid Hedenfalk _

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Oncotarget. 2019; 10:6981-6996. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27363

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Irem Durmaz Sahin1,2, Jenny-Maria Jönsson1 and Ingrid Hedenfalk1

1 Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

2 School of Medicine, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence to:

Ingrid Hedenfalk,email: [email protected]

Keywords: HGSOC; c-Met; PARP inhibitor; apoptosis

Received: September 26, 2019     Accepted: November 17, 2019     Published: December 10, 2019


High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the predominant and most lethal histological type of epithelial ovarian cancer. During the last few years, several new treatment options with PARP inhibitors have emerged. The FDA has approved the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza™) as maintenance treatment after first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy and olaparib, niraparib (Zejula™) and rucaparib (Rubraca™) are approved as maintenance therapies in the recurrent, platinum-sensitive setting; nevertheless, development of resistance limits their efficacy. In this study, new combinatorial treatment strategies targeting key signaling pathways were explored to enhance the activity of PARP inhibitors in HGSOC. Carboplatin, olaparib, niraparib, the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and the c-Met inhibitor crizotinib were used for this investigation. PARP inhibitors and carboplatin alone and in combination caused accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and G2/M cell cycle arrest. In contrast, crizotinib alone or in combination with PARP inhibitors induced accumulation of cells in sub-G1. Crizotinib together with either of the PARP inhibitors was more strongly synergistic than combinations with a PARP inhibitor and carboplatin or the PI3K inhibitor. Sequential combination of crizotinib and a PARP inhibitor resulted in activation of ATM/CHK2 and inhibition of c-Met pathways, contributing to a decrease in RAD51 levels and induction of caspase-3 dependent apoptotic cell death and suggesting that the combination of crizotinib with a PARP inhibitor may be considered and further explored as a new therapeutic strategy in HGSOC.

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