ADAM17 Inhibition Increases the Impact of Cisplatin Treatment in Ovarian Cancer Spheroids

Chemotherapy resistance is a major challenge in ovarian cancer (OvCa). Thus, novel treatment combinations are highly warranted. However, many promising drug candidates tested in two-dimensional (2D) cell culture have not proved successful in the clinic. For this reason, we analyzed our drug combination not only in monolayers but also in three-dimensional (3D) tumor spheroids. One potential therapeutic target for OvCa is A disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17). ADAM17 can be activated by chemotherapeutics, which leads to enhanced tumor growth due to concomitant substrate cleavage. Therefore, blocking ADAM17 during chemotherapy may overcome resistance. Here, we tested the effect of the ADAM17 inhibitor GW280264X in combination with cisplatin on ovarian cancer cells in 2D and 3D. In 2D, the effect on five cell lines was analyzed with two readouts. Three of these cell lines formed dense aggregates or spheroids (HEY, SKOV-3, and OVCAR-8) in 3D and the treatment effect was analyzed with a multicontent readout (cytotoxicity, viability, and caspase3/7 activation). We tested the combined therapy on tumor spheroids derived from primary patient cells. In 2D, we found a significant reduction in the half minimal (50%) inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of the combined treatment (GW280264X plus cisplatin) in comparison with cisplatin monotherapy in all five cell lines with both 2D readout assays (viability and caspase activation). In contrast, the combined treatment only showed an IC50 reduction in HEY and OVCAR-8 3D tumor spheroid models using caspase3/7 activity or CelltoxTM Green as the readout. Finally, we found an improved effect of GW280264X with cisplatin in tumor spheroids derived from patient samples. In summary, we demonstrate that ADAM17 inhibition is a promising treatment strategy in ovarian cancer.


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