CXCR4 blockade with AMD3100 enhances Taxol chemotherapy to limit ovarian cancer cell growth

Anticancer Drugs. 2017 Oct;28(9):935-942. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000000518.


The standard of care for ovarian cancer includes initial treatment with chemotherapy. Despite initial efficacy, over 70% of patients develop recurrence; thus, there is a need to identify novel approaches that can improve therapeutic outcomes. We evaluated AMD3100 (Plerixafor), an FDA-approved CXCR4 inhibitor, as a potential adjunctive therapy for low-dose Taxol (Paclitaxel) by assessing the impact on in-vitro ovarian cancer cell proliferation. Proliferation was a measure for both human TOV-112D and murine ID8 ovarian cancer cells incubated with AMD3100 and Taxol, either individually or in combination. Impact of treatment was first determined for the simultaneous administration of AMD3100 and Taxol. We next assessed a sequential application of AMD3100 pretreatment, followed by AMD3100, Taxol, or a combination to test for sensitization to Taxol. In addition, we measured the impact of AMD3100 and Taxol, individually and in combination, on colony formation, an in-vitro model assay of tumor growth. Expression data, as measured by flow cytometry, show that both ID8 and TOV-112D cells are positive for CXCR4, CXCR7, and CXCL12. Combination treatment with AMD3100 (≤10 μmol/l) sensitized both ID8 and TOV-112D cells to low concentrations of Taxol (≤5 nmol/l), limiting cell proliferation and colony formation in vitro. Pretreatment with AMD3100 significantly increased the sensitivity of human ovarian cancer to low-dose Taxol or the combination of AMD3100 and Taxol, although this effect was not evident in murine cells. Importantly, for both human and murine cells, incubation with a combination of AMD3100 and Taxol had the largest impact on limiting cell proliferation. AMD3100 in combination with low-dose Taxol offers improved efficacy and the potential of reduced toxicity for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Benzylamines
  • Cell Growth Processes / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cyclams
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Benzylamines
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • CXCR4 protein, mouse
  • Cyclams
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Paclitaxel
  • plerixafor