Purpose: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the fifth leading cause of death in women diagnosed with gynecologic malignancies. The low survival rate is because of its advanced-stage diagnosis and either intrinsic or acquired resistance to standard platinum-based chemotherapy. So, the development of effective innovative therapeutic strategies to overcome cisplatin resistance remains a high priority.
Experimental design: To investigate new treatments in in vivo models reproducing EOCs tumor growth, we generated a preclinical model of ovarian cancer after orthotopic implantation of a primary serous tumor in nude mice. Further, matched model of acquired cisplatin-resistant tumor version was successfully derived in mice. Effectiveness of lurbinectedin (PM01183) treatment, a novel marine-derived DNA minor groove covalent binder, was assessed in both preclinical models as a single and a combined-cisplatin agent.
Results: Orthotopically perpetuated tumor grafts mimic the histopathological characteristics of primary patients' tumors and they also recapitulate in mice characteristic features of tumor response to cisplatin treatments. We showed that single lurbinectedin or cisplatin-combined therapies were effective in treating cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant preclinical ovarian tumor models. Furthermore, the strongest in vivo synergistic effect was observed for combined treatments, especially in cisplatin-resistant tumors. Lurbinectedin tumor growth inhibition was associated with reduced proliferation, increased rate of aberrant mitosis, and subsequent induced apoptosis.
Conclusions: Taken together, preclinical orthotopic ovarian tumor grafts are useful tools for drug development, providing hard evidence that lurbinectedin might be a useful therapy in the treatment of EOC by overcoming cisplatin resistance.