Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-resistant tumors. The c-Met and Hedgehog (Hh) pathways have been shown previously by our group to be key regulatory pathways in the primary tumor growth and metastases formation. Targeting both the HGF/ c-Met and Hh pathways has shown promising results in preclinical studies; however, the benefits were not readily translated into clinical trials with PDAC patients. In this study, utilizing mouse models of PDAC, we showed that inhibition of either HGF/c-Met or Hh pathways sensitize the PDAC tumors to gemcitabine, resulting in decreased primary tumor volume as well as significant reduction of metastatic tumor burden. However, prolonged treatment of single HGF/c-Met or Hh inhibitor leads to resistance to these single inhibitors, likely because the single c-Met treatment leads to enhanced expression of Shh, and vice versa. Targeting both the HGF/c-Met and Hh pathways simultaneously overcame the resistance to the single-inhibitor treatment and led to a more potent antitumor effect in combination with the chemotherapy treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research