Objectives Inhibition of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), an upstream activator of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathway, is known to augment sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy. This study further tests the efficacy of PAPP-A inhibition with a monoclonal antibody inhibitor (mAb-PA) in ovarian cancer (OC) platinum-resistant patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. Methods PAPP-A expression was quantitated in platinum-resistant PDX models by ELISA. A subset with High (n = 5) and Low (n = 2) expression were revived in female SCID/beige mice for studies with either saline, carboplatin/paclitaxel (CP) + mAb-PA, or CP + IgG2a. The primary endpoint was tumor area by ultrasound on day 28 relative to baseline. Conversion to platinum-sensitive was defined by average tumor regression below baseline. Statistical analyses included linear mixed effects modeling and Kaplan Meier curves. Response to therapy was correlated with changes in the ratio of phosphorylated/total AKT and ERK 1/2 using Wes analysis. Results The addition of mAb-PA to CP induced tumor regression below baseline in one High PAPP-A PDX model; another three models exhibited notable growth inhibition relative to CP + IgG2a. None of the Low PAPP-A PDX models regressed below baseline. The PDX model with the greatest magnitude of tumor regression from baseline after combination therapy was maintained on single agent mAb-PA or IgG2a, but no benefit was observed. Decreased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 correlated with conversion to platinum-sensitive. Conclusions The addition of mAb-PA to CP overcame platinum-resistance in one of five High PAPP-A PDX models; three other models demonstrated improved platinum-response. This supports further clinical development of this novel therapeutic.
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