This study examines the effects of the epigenetic modulator 4SC-202, a dual histone deacetylase (HDAC) /lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (LSD1) small molecule inhibitor, on tumor growth and metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer. 4SC-202 differs from clinically available HDAC inhibitors such as Vorinostat (SAHA) by specifically targeting class I HDACs including HDAC1, HDAC2, and HDAC3 and the histone demethylase LSD1. The hypothesis to be examined is that epigenetic modulation via dual inhibition of HDAC1 and LSD1 improves disease control in breast cancer. In vitro data indicates that 4SC-202 is significantly cytotoxic and cytostatic to the highly metastatic murine Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) murine model 4T1 and the human TNBC cell line MDA-MB-231 and reduces cancer cell migration. In vivo studies conducted in the syngeneic 4T1 model which closely mimics human TNBC in terms of sites of metastasis, show increased necrosis in 4T1 tumors, reduced tumor burden in vivo as compared to Vorinostat treatment, and significantly reduced metastasis. Furthermore, multiple studies in different cell types indicate that the mechanism of action of 4SC-202 may involve effects on cancer stem cells, which are able to self-renew and form metastatic lesions. It has been shown that a marker of cancer stem cells (CSC's) in breast cancer is high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity and that ALDH high cells mediate metastasis. In the 4T1 syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer, inhibition of ALDH activity suppresses stem-like cell properties. Preliminary data suggests 4SC-202 substantially reduces the ALDH high 4T1 cancer stem population. Transcriptome bulk RNA -sequencing analysis from 4T1 tumors reveal changes in metastatic related pathways in 4SC-202 treated tumors, including significant changes to the expression levels of genes implicated in focal adhesion and ECM-receptor interaction pathways. Furthermore, 4SC-202 appears to alter expression of cytokines which serve as chemokines, potentially leading to increased expression of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. In summary, treatment of a highly metastatic murine model of TNBC with 4SC-202 significantly reduces metastasis, and warrants further preclinical studies in conjunction with standard of care chemotherapy treatment.

Citation Format: Shanta M. Messerli, Mariah M. Hoffman, Jessica S. Zylla, Etienne Gnimpieba, Keith W. Miskimins. Examination of therapeutic potential of epigenetic modulation by dual HDAC-LSD1 inhibition in murine models of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research 2020; 2020 Apr 27-28 and Jun 22-24. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2020;80(16 Suppl):Abstract nr 1761.