• Preclinical studies of the combined effect of anti-MYCN PNA and Retinoic Acid as potential approach to treat Neuroblastoma
  • Lampis, Silvia <1992>


  • BIO/14 Farmacologia


  • Neuroblastoma (NB) is the deadliest cancer in early childhood. Around 25% of patients pre- sent MYCN-amplification (MNA) which is linked to poor prognosis, metastasis, and therapy- resistance. While retinoic acid (RA) is beneficial only for some NB patients, the cause of its resistance is still unknown. Thus, there remains a need for new therapies to treat NB. I show that MYCN-specific inhibition by the antigene oligonucleotide BGA002 in combination with 13-cis RA (BGA002-RA) overcome resistance in MNA-NB cell lines, leading to potent MYCN mRNA expression and protein decrease. Moreover, BGA002-RA reactivated neuron differentiation or led to apoptosis in MNA-NB cell lines, and inhibited invasiveness capacity. Since NB and PI3K/mTOR pathway are strictly related MYCN down-regulation by BGA002 led to mTOR pathway inhibition in MNA-NB, that was strengthened by BGA002-RA. I further analyzed if MYCN silencing may induce autophagy reactivation, and indeed BGA002-RA caused a massive increase in lysosomes and macrovacuoles in MNA-NB cells. In addition, while MYCN is known to induce angiogenesis, BGA002-RA in vivo treatment elim- inated the tumor vascularization in a MNA-NB mice model, and significantly increased the survival. Overall, these results indicate that MYCN modulation mediates the therapeutic efficacy of RA and the development of RA resistance in MNA-NB. Furthermore, by targeting MYCN, we show a cancer-specific way of mTOR pathway inhibition only in MNA-NB, avoiding side effects of targeting mTOR in normal cells. These findings warrant clinical testing of BGA002-RA as a potential strategy to overcome RA resistance in MNA-NB.


  • 2022-03-18
  • info:eu-repo/date/embargoEnd/2022-12-31


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Lampis, Silvia (2022) Preclinical studies of the combined effect of anti-MYCN PNA and Retinoic Acid as potential approach to treat Neuroblastoma, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche , 34 Ciclo.