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The multi-target kinase inhibitor sorafenib has been approved for the treatment of patients with advanced differentiated thyroid cancer. However, different sensitivities to sorafenib have been observed, and few patients have benefited from sorafenib treatment in the long term. In the event of acquired resistance to sorafenib it is not beneficial to continue treatment in most patients. Autophagy can be induced in a variety of cancer treatments and plays an important role in cancer treatment. The role of autophagy in sorafenib treatment of thyroid cancer has not been fully demonstrated. The present study investigated whether autophagy is activated by sorafenib during the treatment of thyroid cancer, examined the underlying mechanisms, and explored potential strategies to enhance the therapeutic sensitivity of sorafenib. Chloroquine (CQ) is an autophagy inhibitor that has been reported to increase sensitivity to various cancer treatments. Thyroid cancer xenograft model mice were treated with sorafenib, CQ, or a combination of sorafenib and CQ. We observed that CQ or sorafenib treatment suppressed tumor growth, while mice treated with the combination of sorafenib and CQ displayed significantly reduced tumor growth compared with those treated with sorafenib or CQ alone. Western blotting results indicated that sorafenib concurrently inhibited the activities of the MAPK and AKT/mTOR pathways in thyroid cancer. Autophagy was activated by sorafenib in thyroid cancer, both in vitro and in vivo, which was at least in part due to suppression of the AKT/mTOR pathway. Combination treatment including CQ could inhibit the autophagic flux induced by sorafenib. Silencing the key autophagy gene ATG5 using small interfering RNA also increased the anticancer effect of sorafenib. In summary, the present study revealed that inhibition of autophagy enhances the anticancer effect of sorafenib, and the combination of CQ with sorafenib treatment represents a potential therapeutic strategy for treating advanced differentiated thyroid cancer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Oncology reports
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An autophagy related protein that is similar to UBIQUITIN-ACTIVATING ENZYME E1. It functions in CYTOPLASM to VACUOLE transport (Cvt) and AUTOPHAGY by activating ATG12 PROTEIN for its conjugation with ATG5 PROTEIN, as well as the conjugation of ATG8 FAMILY PROTEINS with phosphatidylethanolamine for ATG8 association to Cvt vesicles and AUTOPHAGOSOME membranes. It is also required for the nitrogen starvation response in yeast, MITOPHAGY; and autophagic cell death induced by CASPASE 8 inhibition.
A dual inhibitor of both cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. It exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins and leukotrienes. The drug also enhances pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction and has a protective effect after myocardial ischemia.
Establishment of the level of a quantifiable effect indicative of a biologic process. The evaluation is frequently to detect the degree of toxic or therapeutic effect.
A synthetic analog of natural prostaglandin E1. It produces a dose-related inhibition of gastric acid and pepsin secretion, and enhances mucosal resistance to injury. It is an effective anti-ulcer agent and also has oxytocic properties.
A fungal metabolite that blocks cytoplasmic cleavage by blocking formation of contractile microfilament structures resulting in multinucleated cell formation, reversible inhibition of cell movement, and the induction of cellular extrusion. Additional reported effects include the inhibition of actin polymerization, DNA synthesis, sperm motility, glucose transport, thyroid secretion, and growth hormone release.
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