Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is an extremely aggressive tumor associated with poor prognosis due to a lack of efficient therapies. In Japan, lenvatinib is the only drug approved for patients with ATC; however, its efficacy is limited. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies are urgently required for patients with ATC. The present study aimed to identify compounds that enhance the antiproliferative effects of lenvatinib in ATC cells using a compound library. IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I was identified as a candidate compound. Combined treatment with lenvatinib and IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I showed synergistic antiproliferative effects via the induction of cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase in the ATC cell lines 8305C, HTC/C3, ACT-1, and 8505C. Furthermore, IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I enhanced the inhibition of ERK phosphorylation by lenvatinib in 8305C, HTC/C3, and 8505C cells. In an HTC/C3 xenograft mouse model, tumor volume was lower in the combined IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I and lenvatinib group compared with that in the vehicle control, IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I, and lenvatinib groups. IRAK1/4 Inhibitor I was identified as a promising compound that enhances the antiproliferative and antitumor effects of lenvatinib in ATC.
Keywords: IL-1; IRAK; anaplastic thyroid carcinoma; angiogenesis; lenvatinib.
© 2021 The Authors. Cancer Science published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.