Aurora A inhibitor (MLN8237) plus vincristine plus rituximab is synthetic lethal and a potential curative therapy in aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Daruka Mahadevan, Amy Stejskal, Laurence S. Cooke, Ann Manziello, Carla Morales, Daniel O. Persky, Richard I. Fisher, Thomas P. Miller, Wenqing Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Purpose: Aurora A and B are oncogenic serine/threonine kinases that regulate mitosis. Overexpression of Auroras promotes resistance to microtubule-targeted agents. We investigated mechanistic synergy by inhibiting the mitotic spindle apparatus in the presence of MLN8237 [M], an Aurora A inhibitor with either vincristine [MV] or docetaxel [MD] in aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). The addition of rituximab [R] to MV or MD was evaluated for synthetic lethality. Experimental Design: Aggressive B-NHL cell subtypes were evaluated in vitro and in vivo for target modulation and anti-NHL activity with single agents, doublets, and triplets by analyzing cell proliferation, apoptosis, tumor growth, survival, and mechanisms of response/relapse by gene expression profiling with protein validation. Results: MV is synergistic whereas MD is additive for cell proliferation inhibition in B-NHL cell culture models. Addition of rituximab to MV is superior to MD, but both significantly induce apoptosis compared with doublet therapy. Mouse xenograft models of mantle cell lymphoma showed modest single-agent activity for MLN8237, rituximab, docetaxel, and vincristine with tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of approximately 10% to 15%. Of the doublets, MV caused tumor regression, whereas TGI was observed with MD (approximately 55%-60%) and MR (approximately 25%-50%), respectively. Although MV caused tumor regression, mice relapsed 20 days after stopping therapy. In contrast, MVR was curative, whereas MDR led to TGI of approximately 85%. Proliferation cell nuclear antigen, Aurora B, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, and Bcl-2 proteins of harvested tumors confirmed response and resistance to therapy. Conclusions: Addition of rituximab to MV is a novel therapeutic strategy for aggressive B-NHL and warrants clinical trial evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2210-2219
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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