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Linifanib (ABT-869) Potentiates the Efficacy of Chemotherapeutic Agents through the Suppression of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-Mediated AKT/mTOR Signaling Pathways in Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer, highly dependent on tumor angiogenesis, causes uncontrolled lethality, in part due to chemoresistance. Here, we demonstrate that linifanib (ABT-869), a novel multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, markedly augments cytotoxicity of chemotherapies in human gastric cancer. ABT-869 and chemotherapeutic agents exhibited a strong synergy to inhibit the viability of several gastric cancer cell lines, with combination index values ranging from 0.017 to 0.589. Additionally, the combination of ABT-869 and chemotherapeutic agents led to remarkable suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, in a preclinical gastric cancer xenograft mouse model, drug co-treatments led to increased mouse survival as well as a synergistic reduction in tumor size and the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Mechanistic studies further revealed that all of the co-treatments containing ABT-869 resulted in decreased activation of the VEGF receptor, the epidermal growth factor receptor and the insulin growth factor receptor. Inhibition of these receptor tyrosine kinases consequently attenuated the activation of the downstream AKT/mTOR signaling pathway both in cultured gastric cancer cells and in gastric cancer xenografts. Collectively, our findings suggest that the addition of ABT-869 to traditional chemotherapies may be a promising strategy for the treatment of human gastric cancer.

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