Understanding resistance to EGFR inhibitors-impact on future treatment strategies

Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 15.03). 09/2010; 7(9):493-507. DOI: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.97
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT EGFR is a tyrosine kinase that participates in the regulation of cellular homeostasis. Following ligand binding, EGFR stimulates downstream cell signaling cascades that influence cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, survival and complex processes, including angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. EGFR has been strongly implicated in the biology of human epithelial malignancies, with therapeutic applications in cancers of the colon, head and neck, lung, and pancreas. Accordingly, targeting EGFR has been intensely pursued, with the development of a series of promising molecular inhibitors for use in clinical oncology. As is common in cancer therapy, challenges with respect to treatment resistance emerge over time. This situation is certainly true of EGFR inhibitor therapies, where intrinsic and acquired resistance is now well recognized. In this Review, we provide a brief overview regarding the biology of EGFR, preclinical and clinical development of EGFR inhibitors, and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of treatment resistance. A greater understanding of the mechanisms that lead to EGFR resistance may provide valuable insights to help design new strategies that will enhance the impact of this promising class of inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The anti-tumor role and mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid compound, are not well studied especially in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In the present study, we analyzed CBD's anti-tumorigenic activity against highly aggressive breast cancer cell lines including TNBC subtype. We show here -for the first time-that CBD significantly inhibits epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced proliferation and chemotaxis of breast cancer cells. Further studies revealed that CBD inhibits EGF-induced activation of EGFR, ERK, AKT and NF-kB signaling pathways as well as MMP2 and MMP9 secretion. In addition, we demonstrated that CBD inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in different mouse model systems. Analysis of molecular mechanisms revealed that CBD significantly inhibits the recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages in primary tumor stroma and secondary lung metastases. Similarly, our in vitro studies showed a significant reduction in the number of migrated RAW 264.7 cells towards the conditioned medium of CBD-treated cancer cells. The conditioned medium of CBD-treated cancer cells also showed lower levels of GM-CSF and CCL3 cytokines which are important for macrophage recruitment and activation. In summary, our study shows -for the first time-that CBD inhibits breast cancer growth and metastasis through novel mechanisms by inhibiting EGF/EGFR signaling and modulating the tumor microenvironment. These results also indicate that CBD can be used as a novel therapeutic option to inhibit growth and metastasis of highly aggressive breast cancer subtypes including TNBC, which currently have limited therapeutic options and are associated with poor prognosis and low survival rates. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Oncology 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.molonc.2014.12.010 · 5.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cetuximab is an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody that has received the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cancer treatment. However, most clinical studies indicate that cetuximab can only elicit positive effects on a subset of cancer patients. In this study, we investigated whether near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging of tumor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression could be a biomarker for tumor early response to cetuximab therapy in preclinical wild-type and mutant tumor models of the KRAS gene. The treatment efficacy of cetuximab was determined in both HT-29 (wild-type KRAS) and HTC-116 (mutant KRAS) human colon cancer models. A VEGF-specific optical imaging probe (Dye755-Ran) was synthesized by conjugating ranibizumab (an anti-VEGF antibody Fab fragment) with a NIRF dye. Serial optical scans with Dye755-Ran were performed in HT-29 and HTC-116 xenograft models. By using longitudinal NIRF imaging, we were able to detect early tumor response on day 3 and day 5 after initiation of cetuximab treatment in the cetuximab-responsive HT-29 tumor model. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) confirmed that cetuximab treatment inhibited VEGF expression in the KRAS wild-type HT-29 tumor but not in the KRAS mutant HCT-116 tumor. We have demonstrated that the antitumor effect of cetuximab can be noninvasively monitored by serial fluorescence imaging using Dye755-Ran. VEGF expression detected by optical imaging could serve as a sensitive biomarker for tumor early response to drugs that directly or indirectly act on VEGF.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 11/2014; 12(1). DOI:10.1021/mp5002944 · 4.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aneuploid genomes, characterized by unbalanced chromosome stoichiometry (karyotype), are associated with cancer malignancy and drug resistance of pathogenic fungi. The phenotypic diversity resulting from karyotypic diversity endows the cell population with superior adaptability. We show here, using a combination of experimental data and a general stochastic model, that the degree of phenotypic variation, thus evolvability, escalates with the degree of overall growth suppression. Such scaling likely explains the challenge of treating aneuploidy diseases with a single stress-inducing agent. Instead, we propose the design of an "evolutionary trap" (ET) targeting both karyotypic diversity and fitness. This strategy entails a selective condition "channeling" a karyotypically divergent population into one with a predominant and predictably drugable karyotypic feature. We provide a proof-of-principle case in budding yeast and demonstrate the potential efficacy of this strategy toward aneuploidy-based azole resistance in Candida albicans. By analyzing existing pharmacogenomics data, we propose the potential design of an ET against glioblastoma. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014