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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Venetoclax Synergizes Sunitinib in Renal Cell Carcincoma through Inhibition of Bcl-2

Author(s): Yuanjia Tang, Tao Song, Liangkui Gao* and Fei Mao*

Volume 23, Issue 18, 2023

Published on: 06 September, 2023

Page: [2027 - 2034] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1871520623666230815143303

Price: $65


Aims: More effective treatment options for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are needed, in particular advanced RCC.

Background: Sunitinib, a multitarget tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a first-line treatment of metastatic RCC. However, the management of sunitinib-induced adverse events and resistance is complex. In hematological malignancies, effective targeting of anti-apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 has been achieved, but limited progress has been made in solid tumors.

Objective: This work systematically investigated the therapeutic potential of the combination of sunitinib and venetoclax, a Bcl-2 inhibitor, in preclinical RCC models.

Methods: Quantitative analysis of drug interactions was performed. Cell viability was examined after drug treatment or Bcl-2 siRNA depletion. RCC xenograft mouse model was applied to validate the efficacy of sunitinib and venetoclax.

Results: A strong synergistic interaction between sunitinib and venetoclax was observed across a range of different dose levels in all tested RCC cell lines. Sequential treatment studies show that the sequential addition of venetoclax and then sunitinib is superior to concurrent treatment and the sequential addition of sunitinib and then venetoclax in decreasing RCC cell viability. The sensitivity of RCC cell lines to venetoclax treatment negatively correlates with their Bcl-2 levels. Specific depletion of Bcl-2 mimics the synergistic effects of venetoclax with sunitinib. Treatment of mice implanted with high Bcl-2-expressing RCC cells reveals that a combination of venetoclax and sunitinib at a non-toxic dose displays complete regression of tumor growth throughout the whole duration of treatment.

Conclusion: Our work demonstrates that inhibiting Bcl-2 by venetoclax synergistically enhances sunitinib’s efficacy in RCC. Venetoclax holds great potential as a viable option for clinical use.

Keywords: Venetoclax, sunitinib, Bcl-2, advanced RCC, synergism, renal cell carcinoma.

Graphical Abstract
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