Mechanisms of activity of the TORC1 inhibitor everolimus in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia

Aldo M. Roccaro, Antonio Sacco, Xiaojing Jia, Ranjit Banwait, Patricia Maiso, Feda Azab, Ludmila Flores, Salomon Manier, Abdel Kareem Azab, Irene M. Ghobrial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: The TORC1 inhibitor everolimus has previously shown significant activity as a single agent in hematologic malignancies, with reported responses of 30% to 70% in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. However, the specific mechanisms by which this class of mTOR inhibitors exerts anti-Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia activity have not been fully investigated. We therefore sought to dissect the mechanisms of everolimus-dependent modulation of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cell survival. Experimental Design: We confirmed that everolimus targets mTOR in patients treated with everolimus and responding to therapy. We evaluated the effect of everolimus on proliferation and survival of primary Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells, as well as of other IgM-secreting lymphoma cell lines. Everolimus-dependent mechanisms of induced apoptosis and its effect on Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells in the context of bone marrow microenvironment have been also evaluated. miRNA-155 loss-of-function studies were conducted. Moreover, the combinatory effect of bortezomib and rituximab has been tested. Results: We showed that everolimus targeted mTOR downstream signaling pathways, ex vivo, in patients responding to everolimus treatment. Everolimus induced toxicity in primary Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells, as well as in other IgM-secreting lymphoma cells, supported by cell-cycle arrest and caspase-dependent and -independent induction of apoptosis. Importantly, everolimus targeted Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells even in the context of bone marrow milieu, where it affected migration, adhesion, and angiogenesis. Everolimus-dependent anti-Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia activity was partially driven by miRNA-155. Moreover, everolimus synergized with bortezomib and rituximab in targeting Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells, as shown by synergistic inhibition of p65/ and p50/NF-κB activities. Conclusions: These findings provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that are responsible for everolimus-induced anti-Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6609-6622
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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