Lung Cancer Growth Suppressed by Anticancer and Antifibrotic Drug Combo

Using a new 3D cell culture system, researchers at Academia Sinica, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University Hospital, and National Taiwan University, have shown how blocking the activity of fibroblasts can help to treat lung cancer. The team’s studies found that efficacy of the anticancer drug cisplatin was increased when treatment was combined with the antifibrotic drug nintedanib. Addition of nintedanib improved cisplatin’s effects on suppressing the growth of cancer-cell spheroids and the invasion of cancer cells. Analyses indicated that nintedanib therapy was linked to altered expression of fibroblast genes associated with cell adhesion, invasion, and ECM degradation.

Our results suggest that the combination of nintedanib and cisplatin could be an effective treatment strategy for lung cancer by targeting both cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblast activation surrounding the tumor,” said research lead Chau-Hwang Lee, PhD. at Academia Sinica, and National Yang Ming Chaio Tung University. The authors reported on their findings in APL Bioengineering, in a paper titled “A 3D culture system for evaluating the combined effects of cisplatin and anti-fibrotic drugs on the growth and invasion of lung cancer cells co-cultured with fibroblasts.”

Lee added, “Nearly 90% of late-stage lung cancer patient deaths are caused by the spread of tumors to other organs, rather than the primary tumor. Therefore, it is crucial to find ways to inhibit lung cancer metastasis to prolong the lives of lung cancer patients.”