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Keywords:

  • multiple myeloma;
  • AZD1152;
  • Aurora B kinase;
  • novel therapeutics

Summary

Aurora kinases are potential targets for cancer therapy. Previous studies have validated Aurora kinase A as a therapeutic target in multiple myeloma (MM), and have demonstrated in vitro anti-myeloma effects of small molecule Aurora kinase inhibitors that inhibit both Aurora A and B. This study demonstrated that Aurora B kinase was strongly expressed in myeloma cell lines and primary plasma cells. The selective Aurora B inhibitor AZD1152-induced apoptotic death in myeloma cell lines at nanomolar concentrations, with a cell cycle phenotype consistent with that reported previously for Aurora B inhibition. In some cases, AZD1152 in combination with dexamethasone showed increased anti-myeloma activity compared with the use of either agent alone. AZD1152 was active against sorted CD138+ BM plasma cells from myeloma patients but also, as expected, was toxic to CD138 marrow cells from the same patients. In a murine myeloma xenograft model, AZD1152-inhibited tumour growth at well-tolerated doses and induced cell death in established tumours, with associated mild, transient leucopenia. AZD1152 shows promise in these preclinical studies as a novel treatment for MM.