Barasertib (AZD1152), a highly potent and selective aurora kinase B inhibitor, gave promising clinical activity in elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. However, clinical utility was limited by the requirement for a 7-day infusion. Here we assessed the potential of a nanoparticle formulation of the selective Aurora kinase B inhibitor AZD2811 (formerly known as AZD1152-hQPA) in preclinical models of AML. When administered to HL-60 tumor xenografts at a single dose between 25 and 98.7 mg/kg, AZD2811 nanoparticle treatment delivered profound inhibition of tumor growth, exceeding the activity of AZD1152. The improved antitumor activity was associated with increased phospho-histone H3 inhibition, polyploidy, and tumor cell apoptosis. Moreover, AZD2811 nanoparticles increased antitumor activity when combined with cytosine arabinoside. By modifying dose of AZD2811 nanoparticle, therapeutic benefit in a range of preclinical models was further optimized. At high-dose, antitumor activity was seen in a range of models including the MOLM-13 disseminated model. At these higher doses, a transient reduction in bone marrow cellularity was observed demonstrating the potential for the formulation to target residual disease in the bone marrow, a key consideration when treating AML. Collectively, these data establish that AZD2811 nanoparticles have activity in preclinical models of AML. Targeting Aurora B kinase with AZD2811 nanoparticles is a novel approach to deliver a cell-cycle inhibitor in AML, and have potential to improve on the clinical activity seen with cell-cycle agents in this disease. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(6); 1–10. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received September 9, 2016.
- Revision received October 11, 2016.
- Accepted March 8, 2017.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.