Vitamin D Enhances Anticancer Properties of Cediranib, a VEGFR Inhibitor, by Modulation of VEGFR2 Expression in Melanoma Cells
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Regardless of the recent groundbreaking introduction of personalized therapy, melanoma continues to be one of the most lethal skin malignancies. Still, a substantial proportion of patients either fail to respond to the therapy or will relapse over time, representing a challenging clinical problem. Recently, we have shown that vitamin D enhances the effectiveness of classical chemotherapeutics in the human malignant melanoma A375 cell line. In search for new combination strategies and adjuvant settings to improve melanoma patient outcomes in the current study, the effects of cediranib (AZD2171), an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor of VEGFR1-3, PDGFR, and c-KIT, used in combination either with 1,25(OH)2D3 or with low-calcemic analog calcipotriol were tested on four human malignant melanoma cell lines (A375, MNT-1, RPMI-7951, and SK-MEL-28). Melanoma cells were pretreated with vitamin D and subsequently exposed to cediranib. We observed a marked decrease in melanoma cell proliferation (A375 and SK-MEL-28), G2/M cell cycle arrest, and a significant decrease in melanoma cell mobility in experimental conditions used (A375). Surprisingly, concurrently with a very desirable decrease in melanoma cell proliferation and mobility, we noticed the upregulation of VEGFR2 at both protein and mRNA levels. No effect of vitamin D was observed in MNT-1 and RPMI-7951 melanoma cells. It seems that vitamin D derivatives enhance cediranib efficacy by modulation of VEGFR2 expression in melanoma cells expressing VEGFR2. In conclusion, our experiments demonstrated that vitamin D derivatives hold promise as novel adjuvant candidates to conquer melanoma, especially in patients suffering from vitamin D deficiency. However, further extensive research is indispensable to reliably assess their potential benefits for melanoma patients.