Effect of erythropoietin on human tumor growth in xenograft models
ABSTRACT Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) has been used in the EU and the United States for the treatment of anemia in cancer patients after myelosuppressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However, several conflicting results have been reported concerning the detrimental effect of rhEPO on survival benefit in cancer patients. In experimental studies, contradictory results were also reported in in vitro tumor cell proliferation studies and in vivo tumor growth studies using tumor cells expressing EPO-receptor (EPO-R). Therefore, we tried to clarify the effect of epoetin β, a product of rhEPO, on tumor growth in xenograft models using five EPO-R-positive human cancer cell lines, namely the MCF7 breast, 786-O renal, SCH gastric, A549 lung and SK-OV-3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Epoetin β was administered once a week for 3 weeks at doses of 1,000, 3,000 and 10,000 IU/kg in accordance with the clinical administration schedule and dosages. As a result, no enhancement of tumor growth from the administration of epoetin β was observed in any of the xenograft models throughout the experiment duration. The effect of epoetin β on the antitumor activity of bevacizumab, an anti-angiogenic agent, was additionally examined using A549 and MCF7 xenograft models, since rhEPO reportedly stimulates tumor neovascularization. Epoetin β showed no significant effect on the antitumor activity of bevacizumab in either xenograft model. These findings suggest that epoetin β is not involved in in vivo tumor growth promotion.
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ABSTRACT: Testing for the presence of specific cell-surface receptors (such as EGFR or HER2) on tumor cells is an integral part of cancer care in terms of treatment decisions and prognosis. Understanding the strengths and limitations of these tests is important because inaccurate results may occur if procedures designed to prevent false-negative or false-positive outcomes are not employed. This review discusses tests commonly used to identify and characterize cell-surface receptors, such as the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR). First, a summary is provided on the biology of the Epo/EpoR system, describing how EpoR is expressed on erythrocytic progenitors and precursors in the bone marrow where it mediates red blood cell production in response to Epo. Second, studies are described that investigated whether erythropoiesis-stimulating agents could stimulate tumor progression in cancer patients and whether EpoR is expressed and functional on tumor cells or on endothelial cells. The methods used in these studies included immunohistochemistry, Northern blotting, Western blotting, and binding assays. This review summarizes the strengths and limitations of these methods. Critically analyzing data from tests for cell-surface receptors such as EpoR requires understanding the techniques utilized and demonstrating that results are consistent with current knowledge about receptor biology.Annals of Hematology 12/2013; 93(2). DOI:10.1007/s00277-013-1947-2 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (Epo) is an essential hormone that binds and activates the Epo receptor (EpoR) resident on the surface of erythroid progenitor cells, thereby promoting erythropoiesis. Recombinant human erythropoietin has been used successfully for over 20 years to treat anemia in millions of patients. In addition to erythropoiesis, Epo has also been reported to have other effects, such as tissue protection and promotion of tumor cell growth or survival. This became of significant concern in 2003, when some clinical trials in cancer patients reported increased tumor progression and worse survival outcomes in patients treated with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). One of the potential mechanisms proffered to explain the observed safety issues was that functional EpoR was expressed in tumors and/or endothelial cells, and that ESAs directly stimulated tumor growth and/or antagonized tumor ablative therapies. Since then, numerous groups have performed further research evaluating this potential mechanism with conflicting data and conclusions. Here, we review the biology of endogenous Epo and EpoR expression and function in erythropoiesis, and evaluate the evidence pertaining to the expression of EpoR on normal nonhematopoietic and tumor cells.Biologics: Targets & Therapy 06/2012; 6:163-89. DOI:10.2147/BTT.S32281
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ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (Epo) is used in clinical settings to enhance hematopoietic function and to improve the quality of life for patients undergoing chemotherapy by reducing fatigue and the need for transfusions. However, several meta-analyses have revealed that Epo treatments are associated with an increased risk of mortality in cancer patients. In this study, we examined the role of Epo in prostate cancer (PCa) progression, using in vitro cell culture systems and in vivo bone metastatic assays. We found that Epo did not stimulate the proliferation of PCa cell lines, but did protect PCa cells from apoptosis. In animal models of PCa metastasis, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that Epo enhances metastasis. Together, these findings suggest that Epo may be useful for treating severe anemia in PCa patients without increasing metastatic risk. J. Cell. Biochem. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 11/2013; 114(11). DOI:10.1002/jcb.24592 · 3.37 Impact Factor