Multiple therapies currently exist for renal cell carcinoma, however, most do not result in cure and the development of acquired resistance is the rule rather than the exception. CDK4/6 and PIM1 kinases are potential new therapeutic targets in RCC. Abemaciclib is a potent CDK4/6 and PIM1 kinase inhibitor, thus we evaluated the effects of abemaciclib on renal cell carcinoma. In vitro, abemaciclib causes decreased cellular viability, increased apoptosis, and alterations in autophagy in renal cell carcinoma cell lines. A pre-clinical mouse model of RCC shows abemaciclib in combination with sunitinib to cause dramatic reduction in tumor sizes without overt toxicity. Thus abemaciclib is active in renal cell carcinoma and should be evaluated in a clinical trial in combination with sunitinib. Additionally, CDK4/6 and PIM1 kinase appear to be viable clinical targets in renal cell carcinoma.
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