Purpose: Recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (rhTRAIL) is clinically evaluated as novel anticancer drug. rhTRAIL-DR5, a rhTRAIL variant that specifically binds to DR5 receptor, has recently been developed. We investigated whether rhTRAIL-DR5 is more efficient than rhTRAIL in combination with cisplatin in DR5-expressing human A2780 ovarian cancer cells.
Design: Effect of cisplatin alone or in combination with rhTRAIL or rhTRAIL-DR5 on DR5 surface expression, apoptosis, and cell survival of A2780 was measured. Biodistribution analysis was done in mice with (125)I-rhTRAIL administered intravenously versus intraperitoneally. Antitumor efficacy of rhTRAIL-DR5 versus rhTRAIL was determined in an intraperitoneally growing bioluminescent A2780 xenograft model.
Results: Cisplatin strongly enhanced DR5 surface expression. Both rhTRAIL and rhTRAIL-DR5 in combination with cisplatin induced high levels of caspase-3 activation, apoptosis, and cell kill, with rhTRAIL-DR5 being most potent. Intraperitoneal administration of (125)I-rhTRAIL resulted in a 1.7-fold higher area under the curve in serum, increased tumor exposure, and more caspase-3 activation in the tumor than intravenous administration. Intraperitoneal administration of rhTRAIL-DR5 delayed A2780 tumor progression, reflected in a mean light reduction of 68.3% (P = 0.015), whereas rhTRAIL or rhTRAIL-DR5 plus cisplatin resulted in 85% (P = 0.003) and 97% (P = 0.002) reduction compared with A2780 tumor progression in vehicle-treated animals. Combination of rhTRAIL-DR5 with cisplatin was more effective than cisplatin alone (P = 0.027).
Conclusion: rhTRAIL-DR5 was superior over rhTRAIL in vitro and in vivo against DR5-expressing ovarian cancer also in combination with cisplatin. Intraperitoneal administration of rhTRAIL-DR5 warrants further exploration in ovarian cancer.