Recently, we reported that LGD1069, a high-affinity ligand for the retinoid X receptors (RXRs), was shown to have an efficacy equivalent to that of tamoxifen (TAM) as a chemopreventive agent in the N-nitroso-N-methylurea-induced rat mammary carcinoma model. Furthermore, LGD1069 was very well tolerated during 13 weeks of chronic therapy with no classic signs of “retinoid-associated” toxicities. Due to the high efficacy and benign profile of this RXR agonist as a suppressor of carcinogenesis, we examined its role as a therapeutic agent on established mammary carcinomas. In the rat mammary carcinoma model, N-nitroso-N-methylurea was used to induce tumors, and the tumors were allowed to grow to an established size prior to initiation of treatment. LGD1069-treated animals showed complete regression in 72% of treated tumors and had a reduced tumor load compared to control. In addition, the combination of LGD1069 and TAM showed increased efficacy over either agent alone. Histopathological analysis showed a reduction of LGD1069-treated tumor malignancy, an increase in differentiation, and a sharp decrease in cellular proliferation compared to vehicle-treated control tumors. These data demonstrate that the RXR-selective ligand LGD1069 is a highly efficacious therapeutic agent for mammary carcinoma and enhances the activity of TAM.
Presented in part at the 88th Annual Meeting of the AACR, held April 12–16, 1997, in San Diego, CA.