Zoledronic acid impairs stromal reactivity by inhibiting M2-macrophages polarization and prostate cancer-associated fibroblasts

Zoledronic acid (ZA) is a biphosphonate used for osteoporosis treatment and also proved to be effective to reduce the pain induced by bone metastases when used as adjuvant therapy in solid cancers. However, it has been recently proposed that ZA could have direct anti-tumour effects, although the molecular mechanism is unknown. We herein unravel a novel anti-tumour activity of ZA in prostate cancer (PCa), by targeting the pro-tumorigenic properties of both stromal and immune cells. Particularly, we demonstrate that ZA impairs PCa-induced M2-macrophages polarization, reducing their pro-invasive effect on tumour cells and their pro-angiogenic features. Crucially, ZA administration reverts cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) activation by targeting the mevalonate pathway and RhoA geranyl-geranylation, thereby impairing smooth muscle actin-α fibers organization, a prerequisite of fibroblast activation. Moreover, ZA prevents the M2 macrophages-mediated activation of normal fibroblast, highlighting the broad efficacy of this drug on tumour microenvironment. These results are confirmed in a metastatic xenograft PCa mouse model in which ZA-induced stromal normalization impairs cancer-stromal cells crosstalk, resulting in a significant reduction of primary tumour growth and metastases. Overall these findings reinforce the efficacy of ZA as a potential therapeutic approach to reduce cancer aggressiveness, by abrogating the supportive role of tumour microenvironment.

Oncotarget. 2016 May 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Giuseppina Comito, Coral Pons Segura, Maria Letizia Taddei, Michele Lanciotti, Sergio Serni, Andrea Morandi, Paola Chiarugi, Elisa Giannoni

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy., Department of Urology, University of Florence, Careggi Hospital, Urologic Clinic San Luca, 50100 Florence, Italy., Department of Urology, University of Florence, Careggi Hospital, Urologic Clinic San Luca, 50100 Florence, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy., Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy.

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