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Effect of a novel agent, SL-401, targeting interleukin-3 (IL-3)-receptor on plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-induced myeloma cell growth and drug resistance.
Abstracts that were granted an exception in accordance with ASCO's Conflict of Interest Policy are designated with a caret symbol (^).
Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) remains incurable despite novel therapies, highlighting the need for further identification of factors mediating disease progression and drug resistance. The bone marrow (BM) microenvironment confers growth, survival, and drug resistance in MM cells. Our recent study utilized in vitro and in vivo MM xenograft models to show that plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) were significantly increased in MM BM and promote MM growth (Chauhan et al., Cancer Cell 2009, 16:309). Importantly, we found increased IL-3 levels upon pDC-MM interaction, which in turn, trigger MM cell growth and pDCs survival. IL-3R is highly expressed on pDCs. We utilized SL-401, a novel biologic conjugate that targets IL-3R, to examine whether abrogation of IL-3–IL-3R signaling axis affects pDC-MM interaction and its tumor promoting sequelae. Methods: MM cell lines, patient MM cells, and pDCs from healthy donors or MM patients were utilized to study the anti-MM activity of SL-401. MM cells and pDCs were cultured alone or together in the presence or absence of SL-401, followed by analysis of cell growth or viability. Results: SL-401 significantly decreased the viability of pDCs at low concentrations (IC50: 0.83 ng/ml; P < 0.005, n = 3). SL-401 also decreased the viability of MM cells at clinically achievable doses. Co-culture of pDCs with MM cells induced growth of MM cell lines; and importantly, low doses (0.8 ng/ml) of SL-401 blocked MM cell growth-promoting activity of pDCs. MM patient-derived pDCs induced growth of MM cell lines and primary MM cells as well; conversely, SL-401 inhibited pDC-triggered MM cell growth (P < 0.005, n= 5). Tumor cells from 3 of the 5 patients were from patients whose disease was progressing while on bortezomib, dexamethasone, and lenalidomide therapies. In agreement with these results, SL-401 blocked pDC-induced growth of dexamethasone-resistant MM cell lines. Conclusions: Our study therefore provides the basis for directly targeting pDCs or blocking the pDC-MM interaction, as well as targeting MM, in novel therapeutic strategies with SL-401 to enhance MM cytotoxicity, overcome drug-resistance, and improve patient outcome.