Derazantinib, a fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor, inhibits colony-stimulating factor receptor-1 in macrophages and tumor cells and in combination with a murine programmed cell death ligand-1-antibody activates the immune environment of murine syngeneic tumor models

Anticancer Drugs. 2022 Dec 19. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000001480. Online ahead of print.


Derazantinib (DZB) is an inhibitor of the fibroblast growth factor receptors 1-3 (FGFRi) with similar potency against colony-stimulating factor receptor-1 (CSF1R), a protein important in the recruitment and function of tumor-associated macrophages. DZB inhibited pCSF1R in the macrophage cell line RAW264.7, and tumor cells GDM-1 and DEL, and had the same potency in HeLa cells transiently over-expressing FGFR2. DZB exhibited similar potency against pCSF1R expressed by isolated murine macrophages, but as in the cell lines, specific FGFRi were without significant CSF1R activity. DZB inhibited growth of three tumor xenograft models with reported expression or amplification of CSF1R, whereas the specific FGFRi, pemigatinib, had no efficacy. In the FGFR-driven syngeneic breast tumor-model, 4T1, DZB was highly efficacious causing tumor stasis. A murine PD-L1 antibody was without efficacy in this model, but combined with DZB, increased efficacy against the primary tumor and further reduced liver, spine and lung metastases. Immunohistochemistry of primary 4T1 tumors showed that the combination favored an antitumor immune infiltrate by strongly increasing cytotoxic T, natural killer and T-helper cells. Similar modulation of the tumor microenvironment was observed in an FGFR-insensitive syngeneic bladder model, MBT-2. These data confirm CSF1R as an important oncology target for DZB and provide mechanistic insight for the ongoing clinical trials, in which DZB is combined with the PD-L1 antibody, atezolizumab.