Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the United States after lung cancer and is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths each year. Many challenges exist in the current management of advanced stage breast cancer as there are fewer recognized therapeutic strategies, often due to therapy resistance. Recent reports suggest that malignant cells that survive initial chemo- and radiation therapy often express inflammatory cytokines, which provides survival benefit making tumors resistant to further chemotherapy. The specific objective of the study is to develop strategy to manipulate chemokine-chemokine receptor network for effective therapy with limited toxicity against drug-resistant breast cancer. We investigated whether modulation of CXCR2-dependent signaling in malignant mammary tumor enhances therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy drugs. We used mammary tumor cells expressing different levels of CXCR2 (Cl66-wt and Cl66-shCXCR2) and examined their response to Paclitaxel and Doxorubicin. We observed significant enhancement of paclitaxel and doxorubicin-mediated toxicity at concentrations 5 and 10nM in Cl66-shCXCR2 cells as compared to Cl66-wt cells. Moreover, the expression of CXCL1, a CXCR2 ligand, was increased in paclitaxel and doxorubicin treated mammary tumor cells. Paclitaxel and doxorubicin induced CXCL-1 levels was significantly lower in Cl66-shCXCR2 cells as compared to Cl66-wt cells. In vivo studies using wild type and knockdown cells showed no significant difference in the tumor growth. However, we observed a difference in the tumor growth between wild type and knockdown tumors in mice treated with 10mg/kg concentration of paclitaxel for 3 weeks after starting the treatment. When these studies were further extended there wasn't any difference between the two groups. Furthermore, we extended these studies using human breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB231, MDA-MET, and SKBR3). MDA-MB231 and MDA-MET are triple negative and considered to be more metastatic and drug resistant than SKBR3 which is HER2-over expressing cell line. We observed differential expression of CXCR2 and its ligands in these cells. Our observation also showed significant difference in the paclitaxel and doxorubicin-mediated inhibitory response in MDA-MB231 and MDA-MET cells as compared to SKBR3 cells. Together these studies demonstrate that manipulating CXCR2-dependent activity in malignant breast cancer cells significantly enhanced therapeutic efficacy of paclitaxel and doxorubicin.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 5462.