OBJECTIVES: Patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors have limited therapeutic options. Everolimus (RAD001), an inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, has been shown to increase progression-free survival, but not overall survival, indicating a need to identify additional therapeutic targets. Inhibition of mTOR complex 1 by RAD001 may induce upstream AKT upregulation. We hypothesized that dual inhibition of AKT along with mTOR will overcome the limited activity of RAD001 alone. METHODS: The BON cell line has been used as a model to study pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor cell biology. Western blots and cell growth assays were performed with mTOR inhibitor RAD001 (50 nM), mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor PD0325901 (50 nM), PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitor LY294002 (25 μM), or vehicle control. Nude mice were treated daily for 6 weeks with RAD001 (oral gavage) and with LY29400 (subcutaneous) 1 week after intrasplenic injection of BON cells. RESULTS: Cellular proliferation was most attenuated with the combination therapy of LY29400 and RAD001. Similarly, the volume of liver metastasis was lowest in the group treated with both LY29400 (100 mg/kg per week, subcutaneous) and RAD001 (2.5 mg/kg per day) compared with that in the vehicle group (P = 0.04). CONCLUSION: The combination therapy of LY29400 and RAD001 decreased the cell growth in vitro and progression of liver metastasis in vivo compared with vehicle or with single-drug therapy.
- BON cell
- liver metastasis
- pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor