Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine enhances the antitumor activity of gemcitabine for gallbladder cancer

Bladder Cancer

Wang FT, et al. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2020.


Gemcitabine (GEM), as an anti-metabolic nucleoside analog, has been shown to have anticancer effects in various tumors, but its chemotherapy resistance is still an important factor leading to poor prognosis of cancer patient. A large number of studies in recent years have shown that autophagy plays an important role in the chemotherapy sensitivity of many tumors, including pancreatic, non-small cell lung, and bladder cancer. However, whether GEM causes autophagy in gallbladder cancer (GBC) and

whether it is related to chemotherapy resistance is unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that GEM induced apoptosis and protective autophagy in GBC cells, which may be related to the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, and GEM in combination with autophagy inhibitor chloroquine can strengthen the cytotoxic effect of GEM on GBC in vitro and in vivo. These findings showed that both autophagy and AKT/mTOR signals were engaged in GBC cell death evoked by GEM, GBC patients might benefit from this new treatment strategy, and molecular targeted treatment in combination with autophagy inhibitors shows promise as a treatment improvement.