Akt/mTOR counteract the antitumor activities of cixutumumab, an anti-insulin-like growth factor I receptor monoclonal antibody.

Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 5.6). 12/2011; 10(12):2437-48. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0235
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent reports have shown limited anticancer therapeutic efficacy of insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R)-targeted monoclonal antibodies (mAb), but the resistance mechanisms have not been completely identified. Because cooperation between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and IGF-IR could cause resistance to inhibitors of individual receptor tyrosine kinases, we investigated the involvement of EGFR signaling in resistance to IGF-1R mAb and the underlying mechanisms of action. Most head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tissues had coexpression of total and phosphorylated IGF-1R and EGFR at high levels compared with paired adjacent normal tissues. Treatment with cixutumumab (IMC-A12), a fully humanized IgG1 mAb, induced activation of Akt and mTOR, resulting in de novo synthesis of EGFR, Akt1, and survivin proteins and activation of the EGFR pathway in cixutumumab-resistant HNSCC and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Targeting mTOR and EGFR pathways by treatment with rapamycin and cetuximab (an anti-EGFR mAb), respectively, prevented cixutumumab-induced expression of EGFR, Akt, and survivin and induced synergistic antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. These data show that resistance to IGF-1R inhibition by mAbs is associated with Akt/mTOR-directed enhanced synthesis of EGFR, Akt1, and survivin. Our findings suggest that Akt/mTOR might be effective targets to overcome the resistance to IGF-1R mAbs in HNSCC and NSCLC.

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