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03 2017 Scientific reports

Akt targeting as a strategy to boost chemotherapy efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer through metabolism suppression.


Le Grand M, Berges R, Pasquier E, Montero MP, Borge L, Carrier A, Vasseur S, Bourgarel V, Buric D, André N, Braguer D, Carré M


Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer development, mediated by genetic and epigenetic alterations that may be pharmacologically targeted. Among oncogenes, the kinase Akt is commonly overexpressed in tumors and favors glycolysis, providing a rationale for using Akt inhibitors. Here, we addressed the question of whether and how inhibiting Akt activity could improve therapy of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that represents more than 80% of all lung cancer cases. First, we demonstrated that Akt inhibitors interacted synergistically with Microtubule-Targeting Agents (MTAs) and specifically in cancer cell lines, including those resistant to chemotherapy agents and anti-EGFR targeted therapies. In vivo, we further revealed that the chronic administration of low-doses of paclitaxel – i.e. metronomic scheduling – and the anti-Akt perifosine was the most efficient and the best tolerated treatment against NSCLC. Regarding drug mechanism of action, perifosine potentiated the pro-apoptotic effects of paclitaxel, independently of cell cycle arrest, and combining paclitaxel/perifosine resulted in a sustained suppression of glycolytic and mitochondrial metabolism. This study points out that targeting cancer cell bioenergetics may represent a novel therapeutic avenue in NSCLC, and provides a strong foundation for future clinical trials of metronomic MTAs combined with Akt inhibitors.

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