Among challenges of targeted therapies is the activation of alternative pro-survival signaling pathways in cancer cells, resulting in an acquired drug resistance. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is overexpressed in bladder cancer cells, making it an attractive molecular target for the detection and treatment of cancer. Fluorocoxib A is an optical imaging agent that selectively targets COX-2. In this study, we evaluated the ability of fluorocoxib A to monitor the responses of bladder cancer to targeted therapies in vivo. The effects of several tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs: axitinib, AB1010, toceranib, imatinib, erlotinib, gefitinib, imatinib, sorafenib, vandetanib, SP600125, UO126, and AZD 5438) on COX-2 expression were validated in ten human and canine bladder cancer cell lines (J82, RT4, T24, UM-UC-3, 5637, SW780, TCCSUP, K9TCC#1Lillie, K9TCC#2Dakota, K9TCC#5Lilly) in vitro. The effects of TKIs on bladder cancer in vivo were evaluated using the COX-2-expressing K9TCC#5Lilly xenograft mouse model and detected by fluorocoxib A. The increased COX-2 expression was detected by all tested TKIs in at least one of the tested COX-2-expressing bladder cancer cell lines (5637, SW780, TCCSUP, K9TCC#1Lillie, K9TCC#2Dakota, and K9TCC#5Lilly) in vitro. In addition, fluorocoxib A uptake correlated with the AB1010- and imatinib-induced COX-2 expression in the K9TCC#5Lilly xenografts in vivo. In conclusion, these results indicate that fluorocoxib A could be used for the monitoring the early responses to targeted therapies in COX-2-expressing bladder cancer.

Oncotarget. 2019 Aug 27*** epublish ***

Jennifer Bourn, Sony Pandey, Jashim Uddin, Lawrence Marnett, Maria Cekanova

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA., A. B. Hancock, Jr., Memorial Laboratory for Cancer Research, Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Center for Molecular Toxicology and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.