Nintedanib Is Active in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cell Models and Inhibits Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth In Vivo

Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Aug 1;24(15):3729-3740. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1507. Epub 2018 May 3.


Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive thoracic tumor type with limited treatment options and poor prognosis. The angiokinase inhibitor nintedanib has shown promising activity in the LUME-Meso phase II MPM trial and thus is currently being evaluated in the confirmatory LUME-Meso phase III trial. However, the anti-MPM potential of nintedanib has not been studied in the preclinical setting.Experimental Design: We have examined the antineoplastic activity of nintedanib in various in vitro and in vivo models of human MPM.Results: Nintedanib's target receptors were (co)expressed in all the 20 investigated human MPM cell lines. Nintedanib inhibited MPM cell growth in both short- and long-term viability assays. Reduced MPM cell proliferation and migration and the inhibition of Erk1/2 phosphorylation were also observed upon nintedanib treatment in vitro Additive effects on cell viability were detected when nintedanib was combined with cisplatin, a drug routinely used for systemic MPM therapy. In an orthotopic mouse model of human MPM, survival of animals receiving nintedanib per os showed a favorable trend, but no significant benefit. Nintedanib significantly reduced tumor burden and vascularization and prolonged the survival of mice when it was administered intraperitoneally. Importantly, unlike bevacizumab, nintedanib demonstrated significant in vivo antivascular and antitumor potential independently of baseline VEGF-A levels.Conclusions: Nintedanib exerts significant antitumor activity in MPM both in vitro and in vivo These data provide preclinical support for the concept of LUME-Meso trials evaluating nintedanib in patients with unresectable MPM. Clin Cancer Res; 24(15); 3729-40. ©2018 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mesothelioma / drug therapy*
  • Mesothelioma / genetics
  • Mesothelioma / pathology
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Pleural Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pleural Neoplasms / pathology
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Indoles
  • nintedanib
  • Cisplatin