6-Methoxyethylamino-numonafide inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma xenograft growth as a single agent and in combination with sorafenib

Yanning Liu, Guohua Lou, John T. Norton, Chen Wang, Irawati Kandela, Shuai Tang, Nathaniel I. Shank, Pankaj Gupta, Min Huang, Michael J. Avram, Richard Green, Andrew Mazar, Daniel Appella, Zhi Chen*, Sui Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading form of cancer worldwide, and its incidence is increasing rapidly in the United States, tripling over the past 3 decades. The current chemotherapeutic strategies against localized and metastatic HCC are ineffective. Here we report that 6-methoxyethylamino-numonafide (MEAN) is a potent growth inhibitor of murine xenografts of 2 human HCC cell lines. At the same dose and with the same treatment strategies, MEAN was more efficacious in inhibiting tumor growth in mice than sorafenib, the only approved drug for HCC. Treatment by MEAN at an effective dose for 6 wk was well tolerated by animals. Combined therapy using both sorafenib and MEAN enhanced tumor growth inhibition over monotherapy with either agent. Additional experiments revealed that MEAN inhibited tumor growth through mechanisms distinct from those of either its parent compound, amonafide, or sorafenib. MEAN suppressed C-MYC expression and increased expression of several tumor suppressor genes, including Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) and TXNIP (thioredoxin-interacting protein). As an encouraging feature for envisioned clinical application, the IC50 of MEAN was not significantly changed in several drug-resistant cell lines with activated P-glycoprotein drug efflux pumps compared to drug-sensitive parent cells, demonstrating the ability of MEAN to be effective in cells resistant to existing chemotherapy regimens. MEAN is a promising candidate for clinical development as a single-agent therapy or in combination with sorafenib for the management of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5453-5465
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2017


  • C-MYC inhibition
  • Combination treatment
  • HCC therapeutic
  • MEAN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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