Enhanced apoptosis and tumor growth suppression elicited by combination of MEK (selumetinib) and mTOR kinase inhibitors (AZD8055)

Sarah V Holt, Armelle Logie, Barry R Davies, Denis Alferez, Sarah Runswick, Sarah Fenton, Christine M Chresta, Yi Gu, Jingchuan Zhang, Yi-Long Wu, Robert W Wilkinson, Sylvie M Guichard, Paul D Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathways interact at multiple nodes in cancer, including at mTOR complexes, suggesting an increased likelihood of redundancy and innate resistance to any therapeutic effects of single pathway inhibition. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effects of combining the MAPK extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK)1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244) with the dual mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitor (AZD8055). Concurrent dosing in nude mouse xenograft models of human lung adenocarcinoma (non-small cell lung cancers) and colorectal carcinoma was well tolerated and produced increased antitumor efficacy relative to the respective monotherapies. Pharmacodynamic analysis documented reciprocal pathway inhibition associated with increased apoptosis and Bim expression in tumor tissue from the combination group, where key genes such as DUSP6 that are under MEK functional control were also modulated. Our work offers a strong rationale to combine selumetinib and AZD8055 in clinical trials as an attractive therapeutic strategy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1804-13
    Number of pages10
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


    • Animals
    • Apoptosis
    • Benzimidazoles
    • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
    • Colorectal Neoplasms
    • Female
    • Gene Expression Profiling
    • Humans
    • Lung Neoplasms
    • MAP Kinase Signaling System
    • Mice
    • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
    • Morpholines
    • Mutation
    • Neoplasms, Experimental
    • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
    • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
    • Signal Transduction
    • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
    • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
    • ras Proteins
    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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