Purpose: Dasatinib (BMS-354825) is a potent, oral multi-targeted kinase inhibitor. It is an effective therapy for patients with imatinib-resistant or -intolerant Ph+ leukemias,. It has demonstrated promising preclinical anti-tumor activity, and is under clinical evaluation in solid tumors. To support the clinical development of dasatinib, we identified a pharmacodynamic biomarker to assess in vivo SRC kinase inhibition, with subsequent evaluation in cancer patients.
Methods: The biomarker, phosphorylated SRC (phospho-SRC), was first identified in human prostate PC-3 tumor cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro. It was further assessed in nude mice bearing PC-3 xenografts. Phospho-SRC[pY418] in tumors and PBMC were measured by western blot analysis, and were quantified by ELISA assays. Dasatinib plasma concentrations were determined using LC/MS/MS.
Results: In PC-3 cells, dasatinib showed dose-dependent anti-proliferative effect, which correlated with the inhibition of phospho-SRC[pY418] and of SRC kinase activity. With a single oral dose of 50 or 15 mg/kg, tumoral phospho-SRC[pY418] was maximally inhibited at 3 h, partially reversed between 7 and 17 h, and completely recovered after 24 h post dose. At 5 mg/kg, tumoral phospho-SRC[pY418] inhibition was less pronounced and recovered more rapidly to baseline level within 24h. Dasatinib (1 mg/kg) resulted in little inhibition. In PBMCs, a similar time course and extent of phospho-SRC[pY418] inhibition was observed. Inhibition of phospho-SRC[pY418] in vivo appeared to correlate with the preclinical in vivo efficacy and PK profiles of dasatinib in mice.
Conclusions: Phospho-SRC[pY418] may potentially be used as a biomarker to enable assessment of target inhibition in clinical studies exploring dasatinib antitumor activity.