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The potential of deferasirox as a novel therapeutic modality in gastric cancer

The potential of deferasirox as a novel therapeutic modality in gastric cancer
Deferasirox; Stomach neoplasm; Cisplatin
Issue Date
WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY, v. 14, Article number 77, Page. 1-7
Background: Iron is a crucial element for cell proliferation, growth, and metabolism. However, excess iron and altered iron metabolism are both associated with tumor initiation and tumor growth. Deferasirox is an oral iron chelator. Although some studies have indicated that deferasirox is a promising candidate for anti-cancer therapies, its effectiveness against gastric cancer has not yet been determined. This study was conducted to determine whether deferasirox exerts anti-tumor effects in gastric cancer cell lines and whether deferasirox and cisplatin act synergistically. Methods: Four human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS, MKN-28, SNU-484, and SNU-638) were treated with various concentrations of deferasirox to determine the IC50 for each cell line. The effects of deferasirox on the cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry, and the effects of deferasirox on iron metabolism, the cell cycle, and apoptosis were assessed by Western blotting. To determine whether deferasirox enhances the effect of cisplatin, AGS cells were cultured in the presence and absence of cisplatin. Results: Deferasirox inhibited the proliferation of all gastric cancer cell lines as assessed by MTT assays. Since the IC50 of deferasirox was the lowest (below 10 mu M) in AGS cells, subsequent experiments were performed in this line. Deferasirox upregulated transferrin receptor 1 expression and decreased ferroportin expression. Moreover, deferasirox induced G1 arrest; upregulated p21, p27, and p53 expression; and downregulated cyclin D1, cyclin B, and CDK4 expression. Furthermore, deferasirox induced apoptosis, upregulated N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), and downregulated p-mTOR and c-myc expression. It was also found to act synergistically with cisplatin. Conclusions: Our results suggest that deferasirox may exert anti-tumor effects in the context of gastric cancer. Deferasirox affects a number of different pathways and molecules; for instance, deferasirox upregulates NDRG1 expression, inhibits the cell cycle, downregulates mTOR and c-myc expression, and induces apoptosis. In addition, deferasirox appears to potentiate the anti-cancer effects of cisplatin. Although the efficacy of deferasirox remains to be tested in future studies, the results presented here indicate that deferasirox is a promising novel anti-cancer therapeutic agent.
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