Effect of dasatinib against thyroid cancer cell lines in vitro and a xenograft model in vivo

Oncol Lett. 2012 Apr 1;3(4):807-815. doi: 10.3892/ol.2012.579. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have emerged as a promising class of agents against thyroid cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vitro and in vivo activity of dasatinib against a panel of thyroid cancer cell lines and explore possible mechanisms of action, using various assays and western blotting. Our results showed that dasatinib exhibits prominent cytostatic activity both in vitro and in vivo against thyroid cancer cell lines with RET/PTC rearrangement (BHP2-7) and KRAS mutation (Cal62). Although dasatinib has primarily been described as an ABL/SRCfamily kinase inhibitor, the cytostatic activity observed in the present study is mediated by several off-target effects of dasatinib, some of which have not previously been reported. These effects include a reduction in phospho-FAK, FAK, RAS, Caveolin and SYK protein levels and an increase in β-catenin protein expression, which leads to the induction of senescence, an increase in the adhesiveness of the cells, a decrease in reactive oxygen species level, and changes in the expression profile of molecules involved in cellular adhesion such as integrins. Therefore, we propose that dasatinib is an effective therapeutic agent for certain patients with thyroid cancer, and these candidate patients may be identifiable on the basis of standard genotypic analyses.