Purpose: Despite more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer in the United States annually, patients with advanced disease have a poor prognosis due to limited treatment modalities. We evaluated Aurora kinase A, identified as an upregulated candidate molecule in bladder cancer, as a potential therapeutic target. Experimental Design: Gene expression in human bladder cancer samples was evaluated using RNA microarray and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Effects of the Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 (Millennium) on cell dynamics in malignant T24 and UM-UC-3 and papilloma-derived RT4 bladder cells were evaluated in vitro and in vivo in a mouse xenograft model. Results: A set of 13 genes involved in the mitotic spindle checkpoint, including Aurora kinases A and B, were upregulated in human urothelial carcinoma compared with normal urothelium. The Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 induced cell-cycle arrest, aneuploidy, mitotic spindle failure, and apoptosis in the human bladder cancer cell lines T24 and UM-UC-3. MLN8237 also arrested tumor growth when administered orally over 4 weeks in a mouse bladder cancer xenograft model. Finally, in vitro sequential administration of MLN8237 with either paclitaxel or gemcitabine resulted in synergistic cytotoxic effects in T24 cells. Conclusions: Mitotic spindle checkpoint dysfunction is a common characteristic of human urothelial carcinoma and can be exploited with pharmacologic Aurora A inhibition. Given our demonstration of the ability of the Aurora A inhibitor MLN8237 to inhibit growth of bladder cancer in vitro and in vivo, we conclude that Aurora kinase inhibitors warrant further therapeutic investigation in bladder cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research