Optimized combination therapy using bortezomib, TRAIL and TLR agonists in established breast tumors

Sujin Lee, Hideo Yagita, Thomas J. Sayers, Esteban Celis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the TNF family of cytokines, which can induce apoptosis in various tumor cells by engaging the receptors, DR4 and DR5. Bortezomib (Velcade) is a proteasome inhibitor that has been approved for patients with multiple myeloma. There is some experimental evidence in preclinical models that bortezomib can enhance the susceptibility of tumors to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the effects of TRAIL-induced death using an agonistic antibody to the TRAIL receptor DR5 (α-DR5) in combination with bortezomib administered to mice previously injected with breast cancer cells (TUBO). This combination had some beneficial therapeutic effect, which was significantly enhanced by the co-administration of a Toll-like receptor 9 agonist (CpG). In contrast, single agent treatments had little effect on tumor growth. In addition, we evaluated the effect of combination with α-DR5, bortezomib, and CpG in the prevention/treatment of spontaneous mammary tumors in Balb-neuT mice. In this model, which is more difficult to treat, we observed dramatic antitumor effects of α-DR5, bortezomib and CpG combination therapy. Since such a mouse model more accurately reflects the immunological tolerance that exists in human cancer, our results strongly suggest that these combination strategies could be directly applied to the therapy for cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1081
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Balb-neuT mice
  • Bortezomib
  • Breast tumors
  • CpG
  • α-DR5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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