Crizotinib is an inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases including ALK, Hepatocyte Growth Factor Receptor (HGFR, c-Met), ROS1 (c-ros), and Recepteur d'Origine Nantais (RON). Translocations can affect the ALK gene resulting in the expression of oncogenic fusion proteins. The formation of ALK fusion proteins results in activation and dysregulation of the gene's expression and signaling which can contribute to increased cell proliferation and survival in tumors expressing these proteins. Crizotinib demonstrated concentration-dependent inhibition of ALK, ROS1, and c-Met phosphorylation in cell-based assays using tumor cell lines and demonstrated antitumor activity in mice bearing tumor xenografts that expressed echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4)- or nucleophosmin (NPM)-ALK fusion proteins or c-Met.
In vitro studies have shown that vandetanib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the EGFR and VEGFR families, RET, BRK, TIE2, and members of the EPH receptor and Src kinase families. These receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in both normal cellular function and pathologic processes such as oncogenesis, metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, and maintenance of the tumor microenvironment. In addition, the N-desmethyl metabolite of the drug, representing 7 to 17.1% of vandetanib exposure, has similar inhibitory activity to the parent compound for VEGF receptors (KDR and Flt-1) and EGFR. In vitro, vandetanib inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated receptor tyrosine kinase phosphorylation in tumor cells and endothelial cells and VEGF-stimulated tyrosine kinase phosphorylation in endothelial cells. In vivo, vandetanib administration reduced tumor cell-induced angiogenesis, tumor vessel permeability, and inhibited tumor growth and metastasis in mouse models of cancer.