American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Figure 3 from Venetoclax-based Rational Combinations are Effective in Models of MYCN-amplified Neuroblastoma

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-03, 18:46 authored by Krista M. Dalton, Kateryna Krytska, Timothy L. Lochmann, Renata Sano, Colleen Casey, Alessia D'Aulerio, Qasim A. Khan, Giovanna Stein Crowther, Colin Coon, Jinyang Cai, Sheeba Jacob, Richard Kurupi, Bin Hu, Mikhail Dozmorov, Patricia Greninger, Andrew J. Souers, Cyril H. Benes, Yael P. Mossé, Anthony C. Faber

Supplemental Figure 3. Chemotherapy and venetoclax combination cell viability assays. Cell viability assays were performed for 72h treatment of cyclophosphamide and topotecan, venetoclax, or combination at indicated concentrations, with bliss synergy scores in (A) MYCN-amplified, and (B) MYCN-wild-type cell lines. (C) Plot of Bliss sum of cell lines in A-B, calculated by the summation of the bliss synergy scores across the doses presented.





Venetoclax is a small molecule inhibitor of the prosurvival protein BCL-2 that has gained market approval in BCL-2–dependent hematologic cancers including chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. Neuroblastoma is a heterogenous pediatric cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 50% for high-risk patients, which includes nearly all cases with amplified MYCN. We previously demonstrated that venetoclax is active in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma but has limited single-agent activity in most models, presumably the result of other pro-survival BCL-2 family protein expression or insufficient prodeath protein mobilization. As the relative tolerability of venetoclax makes it amenable to combining with other therapies, we evaluated the sensitivity of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma models to rational combinations of venetoclax with agents that have both mechanistic complementarity and active clinical programs. First, the MDM2 inhibitor NVP-CGM097 increases the prodeath BH3-only protein NOXA to sensitize p53-wild-type, MYCN-amplified neuroblastomas to venetoclax. Second, the MCL-1 inhibitor S63845 sensitizes MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma through neutralization of MCL-1, inducing synergistic cell killing when combined with venetoclax. Finally, the standard-of-care drug cocktail cyclophosphamide and topotecan reduces the apoptotic threshold of neuroblastoma, thus setting the stage for robust combination efficacy with venetoclax. In all cases, these rational combinations translated to in vivo tumor regressions in MYCN-amplified patient-derived xenograft models. Venetoclax is currently being evaluated in pediatric patients in the clinic, including neuroblastoma (NCT03236857). Although establishment of safety is still ongoing, the data disclosed herein indicate rational and clinically actionable combination strategies that could potentiate the activity of venetoclax in patients with amplified MYCN with neuroblastoma.

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