Combined use of anti-ErbB monoclonal antibodies and erlotinib enhances antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity of wild-type erlotinib-sensitive NSCLC cell lines

Molecular Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.26). 12/2012; 11(1):91. DOI: 10.1186/1476-4598-11-91
Source: PubMed


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an established target for anti-cancer treatment in different tumour types. Two different strategies have been explored to inhibit this pivotal molecule in epithelial cancer development: small molecules TKIs and monoclonal antibodies. ErbB/HER-targeting by monoclonal antibodies such as cetuximab and trastuzumab or tyrosine-kinase inhibitors as gefitinib or erlotinib has been proven effective in the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

In this study we explored the potential of combining either erlotinib with cetuximab or trastuzumab to improve the efficacy of EGFR targeted therapy in EGFR wild-type NSCLC cell lines. Erlotinib treatment was observed to increase EGFR and/or HER2 expression at the plasma membrane level only in NSCLC cell lines sensitive to the drug inducing protein stabilization. The combined treatment had marginal effect on cell proliferation but markedly increased antibody-dependent, NK mediated, cytotoxicity in vitro. Moreover, in the Calu-3 xenograft model, the combination significantly inhibited tumour growth when compared with erlotinib and cetuximab alone.

Our results indicate that erlotinib increases surface expression of EGFR and/or HER2 only in EGFR-TKI sensitive NSCLC cell lines and, in turns, leads to increased susceptibility to ADCC both in vitro and in a xenograft models. The combination of erlotinib with monoclonal antibodies represents a potential strategy to improve the treatment of wild-type EGFR NSCLC patients sensitive to erlotinib.

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    • "One million of NSCLC cell lines were incubated, for one hour at room temperature, with Isotype control Monoclonal Mouse IgG1/R-PE (Ancell IRP, Bayport, MN, USA) or PE mouse anti-Human HER-2 (BD Biosciences, San Josè CA) to determine HER-2 protein membrane levels as previously described [42]. After the incubation the analysis was performed using an EPICS-XL flow cytometer. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background HER-2 represents a relatively new therapeutic target for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The incidence for reported HER-2 overexpression/amplification/mutations ranges from 2 to 20% in NSCLC. Moreover, HER-2 amplification is a potential mechanism of resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR-TKI) (about 10% of cases). T-DM1, trastuzumab emtansine is an antibody-drug conjugate composed by the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab and the microtubule polymerization inhibitor DM1. The activity of T-DM1 has been studied in breast cancer but the role of T-DM1 in lung cancer remains unexplored. Methods Antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of T-DM1 have been investigated in different NSCLC cell lines by MTT, crystal violet staining, morphological study and Western blotting. HER-2 expression and cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry and Western blotting. Antibody dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) was measured with a CytoTox assay. Xenografted mice model has been generated using a NSCLC cell line to evaluate the effect of T-DM1 on tumor growth. Moreover, a morphometric and immunohistochemical analysis of tumor xenografts was conducted. Results In this study we investigated the effect of T-DM1 in a panel of NSCLC cell lines with different HER-2 expression levels, in H1781 cell line carrying HER-2 mutation and in gefitinib resistant HER-2 overexpressing PC9/HER2cl1 cell clone. T-DM1 efficiently inhibited proliferation with arrest in G2-M phase and induced cell death by apoptosis in cells with a significant level of surface expression of HER-2. Antibody-dependent cytotoxicity assay documented that T-DM1 maintained the same activity of trastuzumab. Our data also suggest that targeting HER-2 with T-DM1 potentially overcomes gefitinib resistance. In addition a correlation between cell density/tumor size with both HER-2 expression and T-DM1 activity was established in vitro and in an in vivo xenograft model. Conclusions Our results indicate that targeting HER-2 with T-DM1 may offer a new therapeutic approach in HER-2 over-expressing lung cancers including those resistant to EGFR TKIs.
    Molecular Cancer 06/2014; 13(1):143. DOI:10.1186/1476-4598-13-143 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells have shown that treatment with interleukin-21 promotes Stat5 phosphorylation in natural killer cells which enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against rituximab-coated CLL cells in vitro [17]. Similarly, combined use of anti-ErbB monoclonal antibodies and erlotinib enhanced ADCC in wild-type erlotinib sensitive non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines [18]. Our finding of pStat5 in this study relates to an intracellular signaling protein influenced in its function by phosphorylation; nevertheless, we cannot exclude an indirect effect through ADCC. "
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    ABSTRACT: To define protein molecular characteristics of tumor cells prior to, and immediately following, preoperative human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapy that correlate with pathologic complete response (pCR) or non response (no pCR) to preoperative HER2-directed therapy and chemotherapy. This open-label, phase II study randomized patients with HER2-positive stage II or III invasive breast cancer to trastuzumab, lapatinib, or both, 2 weeks prior to and during chemotherapy with FEC75 for 4 courses; then paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 weekly for 12 courses, then surgery. Core needle biopsies were collected at baseline and after 2 weeks of anti-HER2 therapy prior to chemotherapy. Data were correlated with pCR, defined as absence of invasive tumor in breast and lymph nodes. Of 100 enrolled patients, the analysis population included those who had surgery and received >=75% chemotherapy (78% [n = 78]). pCRs by arm are: trastuzumab (n = 26), 54% [n = 14]; lapatinib (n = 29), 45% [n = 13]; trastuzumab plus lapatinib (n = 23), 74% [n = 17]). Paired biopsy specimens were available for 49 patients (63%). Tumor cells of patients with pCR in the trastuzumab or lapatinib treatment arms showed nonphosphorylated FOXO, phosphorylated Stat5, and sparse signal-transduction protein network crosstalk representing different patterns of connections with PI3K and autophagy proteins compared with no pCR. In this exploratory study, pCR with preoperative anti-HER2 therapy and chemotherapy correlated with the levels and phosphorylation status of specific baseline signal pathway proteins in tumor cells. These data may provide candidate biomarkers to stratify initial treatment and potential combination therapies for future study. Tissue preservation technology introduced here makes this procedure widely feasible.Trial registration: NCT00524303.
    BMC Research Notes 12/2013; 6(1):507. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-6-507
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    ABSTRACT: The ERBB family of receptor tyrosine kinases has a central role in the tumorigenesis of many types of solid tumour. Various therapeutics targeting these receptors have been approved for the treatment of several cancers. Considerable preclinical data have shown that the administration of two inhibitors against an individual ERBB family member - particularly epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or ERBB2 - leads to markedly higher antitumour activity than the administration of single agents. This Opinion article describes the preclinical and clinical performance of these dual-targeting approaches, discusses the key mechanisms that mediate their increased efficacy and highlights areas for ongoing investigation.
    Nature Reviews Cancer 08/2013; 13(9). DOI:10.1038/nrc3559 · 37.40 Impact Factor
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