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Evaluating the efficacy of enzalutamide and the development of resistance in a preclinical mouse model of type-I endometrial carcinoma

Authors: Koivisto, Christopher S.; Parrish, Melodie; Bonala, Santosh B.; Ngoi, Soo; Torres, Adrian; Gallagher, James; Sanchez-Hodge, Rebekah; Zeinner, Victor; Nahhas, Georges J.; Liu, Bei; Cohn, David E.; Backes, Floor J.; Goodfellow, Paul J.; Chamberlin, Helen M.; Leone, Gustavo

Online: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1476-5586(20)30134-2

Issue: Neoplasia. 2020 Oct;22(10):484-496.


Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is a critical driver of hormone-dependent prostate cancer and has also been proposed to have biological activity in female hormone-dependent cancers, including type I endometrial carcinoma (EMC). In this study, we evaluated the preclinical efficacy of a third-generation AR antagonist, enzalutamide, in a genetic mouse model of EMC, Sprr2f-Cre;Ptenfl/fl. In this model, ablation of Pten in the uterine epithelium leads to localized and distant malignant disease as observed in human EMC. We hypothesized that administering enzalutamide through the diet would temporarily decrease the incidence of invasive and metastatic carcinoma, while prolonged administration would result in development of resistance and loss of efficacy. Short-term treatment with enzalutamide reduced overall tumor burden through increased apoptosis but failed to prevent progression of invasive and metastatic disease. These results suggest that AR signaling may have biphasic, oncogenic and tumor suppressive roles in EMC that are dependent on disease stage. Enzalutamide treatment increased Progesterone Receptor (PR) expression within both stromal and tumor cell compartments. Prolonged administration of enzalutamide decreased apoptosis, increased tumor burden and resulted in the clonal expansion of tumor cells expressing high levels of p53 protein, suggestive of acquired Trp53 mutations. In conclusion, we show that enzalutamide induces apoptosis in EMC but has limited efficacy overall as a single agent. Induction of PR, a negative regulator of endometrial proliferation, suggests that adding progestin therapy to enzalutamide administration may further decrease tumor burden and result in a prolonged response.