The following highlights one of the outstanding collaborations between Nationwide Children’s and The Ohio State University. Similar collaborations will be featured in future issues of The Translator. Are you involved in a collaborative effort with OSU? Tell us about it at Translator@NationwideChildrens.org.
Long-Sheng Chang, PhD, in the Center for Childhood Cancer at The Research Institute; Bradley Welling, MD, PhD, and Abraham Jacob, MD, in the Department of Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine; and Ching-Shih Chen, PhD, in The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, are working together to develop agents that target specific signaling pathways in multiple cancer types.
Research has shown that activation of the AKT pathway increases tumor cell survival and growth in a variety of human cancers. In 2008, the team reported that the AKT pathway is activated in human vestibular schwannomas, benign tumors of a nerve that supplies hearing and balance to the inner ear. Current therapeutic options for patients with vestibular schwannomas include radiation and surgical resection. Yet despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, these tumors continue to threaten patient lives and well being.
Dr. Chen and colleagues is the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy have developed several chemotherapeutic agents, including OSU-03012 that inhibits the AKT-pathway. OSU-03012 is currently under Phase I clinical trials in adult patients with advanced or recurrent solid tumors or lymphoma.
However, OSU-03012 has not been tested in benign tumors such as vestibular schwannomas and meningiomas. In 2009, the team reported potent growth inhibitory and anti-tumor activities of OSU-03012 in both benign vestibular schwannoma and malignant schwannoma cells. Dr. Chang’s lab is conducting additional in vivo experiments using various mouse models to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of OSU-03012. Preliminary data indicate that OSU-03012 effectively inhibits the growth of both schwannoma and meningioma cells. Dr. Chang and colleagues from OSU will present their research at the June 2010 Neurofibromatosis meeting in Baltimore, MD.