Tyrosine kinase inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of granulosa cell tumors of the ovary

Stacey Jamieson, Peter J. Fuller

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Granulosa cell tumors of the ovary (GCTs) represent a specific subset of malignant ovarian tumors, of which there are 2 distinct subtypes, the juvenile and the adult form. Aside from surgery, no reliable therapeutic options currently exist for patients with GCT. This study sought to investigate the potential role of small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) as novel therapeutics in the clinical management of GCT. 

Materials and Methods: Using TKI with distinct but overlapping multitargeted specificities, cellular proliferation, viability, and apoptosis were evaluated in 2 human GCT-derived cell lines, COV434 and KGN. Results Sunitinib, which targets the imatinib-inhibited tyrosine kinases of VEGFR, KIT, PDGFR, and FLT-3, was without effect in COV434 and KGN cell lines. Sorafenib, which has a high affinity for RAF1 and BRAF, dose dependently inhibited cellular proliferation and viability in both cell lines at concentrations equivalent to that seen in other systems. A RAF1 kinase inhibitor was without effect, suggesting that sorafenib is acting via inhibition of BRAF, or that aberrant signaling originates upstream of BRAF in the MAPK pathway. In the presence of a selective Src family inhibitor (SU6656), cell proliferation and cell viability responses dissociated; that is, although SU6656 dose dependently inhibited cell viability, it had limited effect on proliferation and apoptosis. 

Conclusions: These findings implicate BRAF in the activated signaling responsible for the growth and viability of GCT and suggest that TKI already in clinical use may be a therapeutic option in the treatment of GCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2015


  • ABL - Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog
  • AP-1 - activator protein 1
  • ATP - adenosine triphosphate
  • CML - chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • COV434
  • EGFR - epidermal growth factor receptor
  • GCT - granulosa cell tumor of the ovary
  • Granulosa cell tumor
  • HUVEC - human umbilical vein endothelial cell line
  • Key Words/Abbreviations
  • KGN
  • Molecular pathogenesis
  • NFκB - nuclear factor κB
  • Ovary
  • PDGFR - platelet-derived growth factor receptor
  • RTK - receptor tyrosine kinase
  • SCFR - Mast/stem cell growth factor receptor
  • TK- tyrosine kinase
  • TKI - tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • VEGF - vascular endothelial growth factor
  • VEGFR - vascular endothelial growth factor receptor

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