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Neuroendocrine tumors

Aurora kinase A (AURKA; aurora-A); v-myc myelocytomatosis viral related oncogene neuroblastoma derived (MYCN; NMYC)

Cell culture and mouse studies suggest AURKA inhibitors that disrupt the AURKA-NMYC complex could help treat neuroblastomas. In NMYC-driven neuroblastoma cell lines, AURKA inhibitors decreased NMYC levels and proliferation compared with vehicle. In a mouse model for aggressive neuroblastoma, AURKA inhibitors decreased tumor NMYC levels and tumor volume compared with vehicle. Next steps include identifying additional inhibitors and testing combinations of existing AURKA inhibitors with alternative NMYC-targeted compounds in neuroblastoma models.
The Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has alisertib, a second-generation AURKA inhibitor, in Phase III testing to treat T cell lymphoma. The compound also is in
Phase II and Phase I testing for other cancers.
At least six other companies have AURKA inhibitors in Phase II testing or earlier to treat various cancers.

SciBX 6(28); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.720
Published online July 25, 2013

Patented by Millennium Pharmaceuticals; licensing status unavailable

Brockmann, M. et al. Cancer Cell;
published online June 20, 2013;
Contact: Martin Eilers, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
Contact: Louis Chesler, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, U.K.