Breast cancer-derived bone metastasis can be effectively reduced through specific c-MET inhibitor tivantinib (ARQ 197) and shRNA c-MET knockdown

Sara Previdi, Giovanni Abbadessa, Francesca Dalò, Dennis S. France, Massimo Broggini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer exhibits a propensity to metastasize to bone, resulting in debilitating skeletal complications associated with significant morbidity and poor prognosis. The cross-talk between metastatic cancer cells and bone is critical to the development and progression of bone metastases. We have shown the involvement of the HGF/c-MET system in tumor-bone interaction contributing to human breast cancer metastasis. Therefore, disruption of HGF/c-MET signaling is a potential targeted approach to treating metastatic bone disease. In this study, we evaluated the effects of c-MET inhibition by both an oral, selective, small-molecule c-MET inhibitor, tivantinib, and a specific short hairpin RNA(shRNA) against c-MET in a mouse model of human breast cancer. Tivantinib exhibited dose-dependent antimetastatic activity in vivo, and the 120 mg/kg dose, proven to be suboptimal in reducing subcutaneous tumor growth, induced significant inhibition of metastatic growth of breast cancer cells in bone and a noteworthy reduction of tumor-induced osteolysis. shRNA-mediated c-MET silencing did not affect in vitro proliferation of bone metastatic cells, but significantly reduced their migration, and this effect was further enhanced by tivantinib. Both observations were confirmed in vivo. Indeed, more pronounced tumor growth suppression with concomitant marked decreases of lytic lesions and prolongation of survival were achieved by dual c-MET inhibition using both tivantinib and RNA interference strategies. Overall, our findings highlighted the effectiveness of c-MET inhibition in delaying the onset and progression of bone metastases and strongly suggest that targeting c-MET may have promising therapeutic value in the treatment of bone metastases from breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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