Purpose: This study was designed to test the ability of the Bcl-2 family inhibitor ABT-263 to potentiate commonly used chemotherapeutic agents and regimens in hematologic tumor models.
Methods: Models of B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma were tested in vitro and in vivo with ABT-263 in combination with standard chemotherapeutic regimens, including VAP, CHOP and R-CHOP, as well as single cytotoxic agents including etoposide, rituximab, bortezomib and cyclophosphamide. Alterations in Bcl-2 family member expression patterns were analyzed to define mechanisms of potentiation.
Results: ABT-263 was additive with etoposide, vincristine and VAP in vitro in the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma line (DLBCL) DoHH-2, while rituximab potentiated its activity in SuDHL-4. Bortezomib strongly synergized with ABT-263 in the mantle cell lymphoma line Granta 519. Treatment of DoHH-2 with etoposide was associated with an increase in Puma expression, while bortezomib upregulated Noxa expression in Granta 519. Combination of ABT-263 with cytotoxic agents demonstrated superior tumor growth inhibition and delay in multiple models versus cytotoxic therapy alone, along with significant improvements in tumor response rates.
Conclusions: Inhibition of the Bcl-2 family of proteins by ABT-263 enhances the cytotoxicity of multiple chemotherapeutics in hematologic tumors and represents a promising addition to the therapeutic arsenal for treatment of these diseases.