Anna R. Michmerhuizen, Benjamin Chandler, Eric Olsen, Kari Wilder-Romans, Leah Moubadder, Meilan Liu, Andrea M. Pesch, Amanda Zhang, Cassandra Ritter, S. Tanner Ward, Alyssa Santola, Shyam Nyati, James M. Rae, Daniel Hayes, Felix Y. Feng, Daniel Spratt, D
Increased rates of locoregional recurrence (LR) have been observed in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) despite multimodality therapy, including radiation (RT). Recent data suggest inhibiting the androgen receptor (AR) may be an effective radiosensitizing strategy, and AR is expressed in 15–35% of TNBC tumors. The aim of this study was to determine whether seviteronel (INO-464), a novel CYP17 lyase inhibitor and AR antagonist, is able to radiosensitize AR-positive (AR+) TNBC models. In cell viability assays, seviteronel and enzalutamide exhibited limited effect as a single agent (IC50 > 10 μM). Using clonogenic survival assays, however, AR knockdown and AR inhibition with seviteronel were effective at radiosensitizing cells with radiation enhancement ratios of 1.20–1.89 in models of TNBC with high AR expression. AR-negative (AR−) models, regardless of their estrogen receptor expression, were not radiosensitized with seviteronel treatment at concentrations up to 5 μM. Radiosensitization of AR+ TNBC models was at least partially dependent on impaired dsDNA break repair with significant delays in repair at 6, 16, and 24 h as measured by immunofluorescent staining of γH2AX foci. Similar effects were observed in an in vivo AR+ TNBC xenograft model where there was a significant reduction in tumor volume and a delay to tumor doubling and tripling times in mice treated with seviteronel and radiation. Following combination treatment with seviteronel and radiation, increased binding of AR occurred at DNA damage response genes, including genes involved both in homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining. This trend was not observed with combination treatment of enzalutamide and RT, suggesting that seviteronel may have a different mechanism of radiosensitization compared to other AR inhibitors. Enzalutamide and seviteronel treatment also had different effects on AR and AR target genes as measured by immunoblot and qPCR. These results implicate AR as a mediator of radioresistance in AR+ TNBC models and support the use of seviteronel as a radiosensitizing agent in AR+ TNBC.