Purpose: To determine the efficacy of AZD0530, an orally active small molecule Src inhibitor, in human pancreatic cancer xenografts and to seek biomarkers predictive of activity.
Experimental design: Sixteen patient-derived pancreatic cancer xenografts from the PancXenoBank collection at Johns Hopkins were treated with AZD0530 (50 mg/kg/day, p.o.) for 28 days. Baseline gene expression profiles of differently expressed genes in 16 tumors by Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 gene array were used to predict AZD0530 sensitivity in an independent group of eight tumors using the K-Top Scoring Pairs (K-TSP) method.
Results: Three patient tumors of 16 were found to be sensitive to AZD0530, defined as tumor growth <50% compared with control tumors (100%). Western blot and/or immunohistochemistry results showed that AZD0530 administration resulted in the down-regulation of Src, FAK, p-FAK, p-paxillin, p-STAT-3, and XIAP in sensitive tumor xenografts compared with control tumors. The K-TSP classifier identified one gene pair (LRRC19 and IGFBP2) from the 16 training cases based on a decision rule. The classifier achieved 100% and 83.3% of sensitivity and specificity in an independent test set that consists of eight xenograft cases.
Conclusions: AZD0530 treatment significantly inhibits the tumor growth in a subset of human pancreatic tumor xenografts. One gene pair (LRRC19 and IGFBP2) identified by the K-TSP classifier has high predictive power for AZD0530 sensitivity, suggesting the potential for this gene pair as biomarker for pancreatic tumor sensitivity to AZD0530.