First-line therapy for most pediatric sarcoma is based on chemotherapy in combination with radiotherapy and surgery. A significant number of patients experience drug resistance and development of relapsed tumors. Drugs that have the potential to re-sensitize relapsed tumor cells toward chemotherapy treatment are therefore of great clinical interest. Here, we used a drug profiling platform with PDX-derived primary rhabdomyosarcoma cells to screen a large drug library for compounds re-sensitizing relapse tumor cells toward standard chemotherapeutics used in rhabdomyosarcoma therapy. We identified ABT-263 (navitoclax) as most potent compound enhancing general chemosensitivity and used different pharmacologic and genetic approaches in vitro and in vivo to detect the NOXA-BCL-XL/MCL-1 balance to be involved in modulating drug response. Our data therefore suggests that players of the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptotic cascade are major targets for stimulation of response toward first-line therapies in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Keywords: BCL-2 family proteins; PDX-derived primary cells; Re-sensitization; Recurrent tumors; Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.