Further Investigation of the Potential Anti-neoplastic, Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Actions of Phenoxybenzamine Using the Broad Institute CLUE Platform

Author(s): Mario A. Inchiosa, Jr

Previous clinical studies with the FDA-approved alpha-adrenergic antagonist, phenoxybenzamine, showed apparent efficacy to reverse the symptoms and disabilities of the neuropathic condition, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; also, the anatomic spread and intensity of this syndrome has a proliferative character and it was proposed that phenoxybenzamine may have an anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory mode of action. A previous study gave evidence that phenoxybenzamine had anti-proliferative activity in suppression of growth in several human tumor cell cultures. The same report demonstrated that the drug possessed significant histone deacetylase inhibitory activity. Utilizing the Harvard/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Broad Institute genomic database, CLUE, the present study suggests that the gene expression signature of phenoxybenzamine in malignant cell lines is consistent with anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory activity and suppression of tumor expansion by several possible mechanisms of action. A particular feature of the CLUE platform is the identification of potential molecular targets for agents that perturb gene expression. Phenoxybenzamine demonstrated signatures that were highly similar to those with glucocorticoid agonist activity. Also, gene expression signatures of phenoxbenzamine were consistent with several agents in each case that were known to suppress tumor proliferation, notably, protein kinase C inhibitors, Heat Shock Protein inhibitors, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, and glycogen synthase kinase inhibitors. Searches in CLUE also confirmed the earlier observations of strong similarities between gene expression signatures of phenoxybenzamine and several histone deacetylase inhibitors.

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