Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) as a therapeutic target in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland

Ravi Doddapaneni, Wensi Tao, Andrea Naranjo, Neda Nikpoor, David T. Tse, Daniel Pelaez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identification of molecular targets is the first step in developing efficacious therapeutic strategies for tumors. A tumors’ biological response to perturbagens yields important information on the molecular determinants for tumor growth. The aim of this study was to characterize the response of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland (LGACC) to intra-arterial cytoreductive chemotherapy (IACC) in order to identify novel targets to enhance therapy. We performed high-throughput proteomic analysis on paired samples from pre-IACC diagnostic biopsies and post-IACC excised tumor samples from 6 LGACC patients. This proteomic analysis provides a comprehensive landscape of the cellular compartments contained within the excised tumors. Interestingly, we found a strong upregulation across the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathway, with FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) exhibiting a consistent and significant upregulation in all post-IACC samples. We thus evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of a novel FGFR1 selective inhibitor, AZD4547, in combination with cisplatin on LGACC cells in-vitro. The combination index (CI) value (<0.895) demonstrated synergistic effect of AZD4547 and cisplatin in inhibiting cell growth and viability (p<0.02), with a differential response seen in post-IACC cultures when compared to pre-IACC cultures. The combination approach showed synergy of the drugs in the migration assay. Western blot analysis indicated a significant upregulation of cleaved caspase-3 and downregulation the expression of FGFR1 (p<0.05) with the combination treatment as compared to either agent independently. Our findings demonstrate that FGFR1 inhibition potentiates the cytoreductive effects of cisplatin and suggest a potential therapeutic benefit of using AZD4547 in the management of LGACC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-493
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • FGFR
  • Lacrimal gland
  • Precision medicine
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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