Combinatorial Effects of Lapatinib and Rapamycin in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 6.11). 06/2011; 10(8):1460-9. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-10-0925
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Triple-negative breast cancers, which lack estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2/neu overexpression, account for approximately 15% of breast cancers, but occur more commonly in African Americans. The poor survival outcomes seen with triple-negative breast cancers patients are, in part, due to a lack of therapeutic targets. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in 50% of triple-negative breast cancers, but EGFR inhibitors have not been effective in patients with metastatic breast cancers. However, mTOR inhibition has been shown to reverse resistance to EGFR inhibitors. We examined the combination effects of mTOR inhibition with EGFR inhibition in triple-negative breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. The combination of EGFR inhibition by using lapatinib and mTOR inhibition with rapamycin resulted in significantly greater cytotoxicity than the single agents alone and these effects were synergistic in vitro. The combination of rapamycin and lapatinib significantly decreased growth of triple-negative breast cancers in vivo compared with either agent alone. EGFR inhibition abrogated the expression of rapamycin-induced activated Akt in triple-negative breast cancer cells in vitro. The combination of EGFR and mTOR inhibition resulted in increased apoptosis in some, but not all, triple-negative cell lines, and these apoptotic effects correlated with a decrease in activated eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF4E). These results suggest that mTOR inhibitors could sensitize a subset of triple-negative breast cancers to EGFR inhibitors. Given the paucity of effective targeted agents in triple-negative breast cancers, these results warrant further evaluation.

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    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 10/2014; 14(1). DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-0529 · 6.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly metastatic disease that currently lacks effective prevention and treatment strategies. The insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathways function in numerous developmental processes, and alterations in both are linked with a number of common pathological diseases. Overexpression of IGF1R and FAK are closely associated with metastatic breast tumors. The present study investigated the interrelationship between IGF1R and FAK signaling in regulating the malignant properties of TNBC cells. Using small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated IGF1R silencing methods, we showed that IGF1R is essential for sustaining mesenchymal morphologies of TNBC cells and modulates the expression of EMT-related markers. We further showed that IGF1R overexpression promotes migratory and invasive behaviors of TNBC cell lines. Most importantly, IGF1R-driven migration and invasion is predominantly mediated by FAK activation and can be suppressed using pharmacological inhibitors of FAK. Our findings in TNBC cells demonstrate a novel role of the IGF1R/FAK signaling pathway in regulating critical processes involved in the metastatic cascade. These results may improve the current understanding of the basic molecular mechanisms of TNBC metastasis and provide a strong rationale for co-targeting of IGF1R and FAK as therapy for mesenchymal TNBCs.
    Oncotarget 12/2014; · 6.63 Impact Factor