Purpose: In cultures, the cytokine oncostatin M (OSM) reduces the growth and induces differentiation of osteoblasts and osteosarcoma cells into glial/osteocytic cells. Moreover, OSM sensitizes these cells to apoptosis driven by various death inducers such as the kinase inhibitor staurosporine. Here, we asked whether OSM would have similar effects in vivo.
Experimental Design: Adenoviral gene transfer of OSM (AdOSM) was done in naive and osteosarcoma-bearing rats, alone or in combination with Midostaurin (PKC412), a derivative of staurosporine currently used in cancer clinical trials. Bone variables were analyzed by micro-computed tomography scanner, by histology, and by the levels of various serum bone markers. Osteosarcoma progression was analyzed by the development of the primary bone tumor, evolution of pulmonary metastasis, histology (necrosis and fibrosis), and animal survival.
Results: In naive rats, AdOSM reduced serum osteoblastic and osteoclastic markers in correlation with a reduced trabecular bone volume. In an osteosarcoma rat model, the combination of AdOSM with PKC412 reduced the progression of the primary bone tumor, pulmonary metastatic dissemination, and increased overall survival, whereas these agents alone had no antitumor effect. Increased tumor necrosis and tissue repair (fibrosis) were observed with this combination.
Conclusion: These in vivo experiments confirm that systemic OSM overexpression alters osteoblast/osteosarcoma activity. Because OSM sensitizes rat osteosarcoma to apoptosis/necrosis, the use of kinase inhibitors such as Midostaurin in association with OSM could represent new adjuvant treatments for this aggressive malignancy.