Background: AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) is a potent small molecule inhibitor of MEK1/2 that is in phase 2 clinical development. Procedures: AZD6244 was tested against the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) in vitro panel (1 nM-10 μM). In vivo AZD6244 was tested at a dose of 100 mg/kg administered orally twice daily 5 days per week for 6 weeks. Subsequently, AZD6244 was evaluated against two juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma (JPA) xenografts using once and twice daily dosing schedules. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was used as a surrogate for in vivo inhibition of MEK1/2 was determined by immunoblotting. Results: At the highest concentration used in vitro (10 μM) AZD6244 only inhibited growth by 50% in 5 of the 23 cell lines. Against the in vivo tumor panels, AZD6244 induced significant differences in EFS distribution in 10 of 37 (27%) solid tumor models and 0 of 6 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) models. There were no objective responses. Pharmacodynamic studies indicated at this dose and schedule AZD6244 completely inhibited ERK1/2 phosphorylation. AZD6244 was evaluated against two JPA xenografts, BT-35 (wild-type BRAF) and BT-40 (mutant [V600E] BRAF). BT-40 xenografts were highly sensitive to AZD6244, whereas BT-35 xenografts progressed on AZD6244 treatment. Conclusions: At the dose and schedule of administration used, AZD6244 as a single agent had limited in vitro and in vivo activity against the PPTP tumor panels despite inhibition of MEK1/2 activity. However, AZD6244 was highly active against BT-40 JPA xenografts that harbor constitutively activated BRAF, causing complete regressions. Pediatr Blood Cancer.
- Developmental therapeutics
- Preclinical testing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health