Brain tumors in mice are susceptible to blockade of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with the oral, specific, EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor ZD1839 (iressa).
ABSTRACT Iressa (ZD1839) is a p.o.-active, selective, epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) that blocks signal transduction pathways implicated in cancer cell proliferation, survival, and host-dependent processes promoting cancer growth. EGFR is up-regulated in primary malignant tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) and in many systemic tumors that metastasize to the CNS. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of p.o.-administered ZD1839 for the treatment of established intracerebral (i.c.) tumors expressing EGFR or the tumorigenic mutated variant EGFRvIII, which is constitutively phosphorylated. Oral administration of ZD1839 at 50 or 100 mg/kg/day for 3 weeks in athymic mice with established i.c. A431 human epidermoid carcinoma expressing EGFR increased median survival by 88% (P = 0.009) and 105% (P < 0.001), respectively. Additionally, there was no evidence of systemic or CNS toxicity. However, ZD1839 failed to inhibit either s.c. or i.c. in vivo tumor growth when tumorigenicity was conferred by EGFRvIII. Western blotting revealed that treatment with ZD1839 virtually ablated phosphorylation of EGFR Tyr-1173 in A431 tumors. However, treatment of NR6M tumors with ZD1839 only partially decreased phosphorylation of EGFRvIII Tyr-1173 while up-regulating overall expression, suggesting that EGFRvIII may not be susceptible to the same molecular mechanisms of tyrosine kinase inhibition as EGFR. In conclusion, ZD1839 is active in a brain tumor model expressing EGFR, but not EGFRvIII, as EGFR mutations may lead to relative therapeutic resistance. On the basis of these observations, we believe that clinical trials of ZD1839 against brain tumors expressing EGFR are warranted, but that special consideration should be given to tumors that coexpress EGFRvIII.
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ABSTRACT: Metastatic tumours involving the brain overshadow primary brain neoplasms in frequency and are an important complication in the overall management of many cancers. Importantly, advances are being made in understanding the molecular biology underlying the initial development and eventual proliferation of brain metastases. Surgery and radiation remain the cornerstones of the therapy for symptomatic lesions; however, image-based guidance is improving surgical technique to maximize the preservation of normal tissue, while more sophisticated approaches to radiation therapy are being used to minimize the long-standing concerns over the toxicity of whole-brain radiation protocols used in the past. Furthermore, the burgeoning knowledge of tumour biology has facilitated the entry of systemically administered therapies into the clinic. Responses to these targeted interventions have ranged from substantial toxicity with no control of disease to periods of useful tumour control with no decrement in performance status of the treated individual. This experience enables recognition of the limits of targeted therapy, but has also informed methods to optimize this approach. This Review focuses on the clinically relevant molecular biology of brain metastases, and summarizes the current applications of these data to imaging, surgery, radiation therapy, cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted therapy.Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 02/2014; · 15.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Metastatic brain tumours remain an intractable clinical problem despite notable advances in the treatment of the primary cancers. It is estimated that 30-40% of breast and lung cancer patients will develop brain metastases. Typically, brain lesions are not diagnosed until patients exhibit neurological symptoms because there are currently no tests that can predict which patients will be afflicted. Brain metastases are resistant to current chemotherapies, and despite surgical resection and radiotherapy, the prognosis for these patients remains very poor with an average survival of only 6-9 months. Cancer is ultimately a genetic disease, involving patient genetics and aberrant tumour genomics; therefore the pursuit of an explanation for why or how brain metastases occur requires investigation of the associated somatic mutations. In this article, we review the current literature surrounding the molecular and genome-based mechanistic evidence to indicate driver oncogenes that hold potential biomarkers for risk, or therapeutic targets for treatment of brain metastases.OA molecular oncology. 04/2013; 1(1).