Epidermal growth factor receptor messenger RNA expression, gene dosage, and gefitinib sensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer
ABSTRACT Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA expression and EGFR gene dosage by quantitative PCR in tumor samples obtained from patients with gefitinib-treated non-small cell lung cancer were analyzed in order to determine the association with treatment outcome, clinical, and biological features [EGFR copy number by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), EGFR tyrosine kinase mutations, and EGFR protein expression].
EGFR mRNA expression was measured by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR in 64 patients, and EGFR gene dosage was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR in 82 patients from paraffin-embedded specimens.
EGFR mRNA expression was higher in responders to gefitinib as compared with nonresponders (P = 0.012). Patients with high EGFR mRNA expression (>5.01) had 43% response probability, whereas patients with low EGFR mRNA expression had 8% response probability (P = 0.006). Patients with high EGFR mRNA expression had longer median progression-free (5.3 versus 2.8 months, P = 0.028) but not overall survival (13.8 versus 10.9 months, P = 0.87). EGFR mRNA expression was higher in FISH-positive patients (P = 0.001) and in patients with positive EGFR immunostaining (P < 0.001) but not in patients with EGFR mutations (P = 0.19). EGFR gene dosage did not predict response (P = 0.54), progression-free (P = 0.73), or overall survival (P = 0.89). EGFR gene dosage was not associated with FISH positivity (P = 0.15), relative mRNA expression (P = 0.27), EGFR mutation status (P = 0.39), and EGFR protein expression (P = 0.35).
EGFR mRNA expression is a predictive biomarker for response to gefitinib and to progression-free survival after gefitinib treatment. EGFR gene dosage is neither predictive for response nor progression-free nor overall survival.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer is one of the major dreaded diseases causing high mortality. Lung cancer is second in position of all cancer related deaths and mainly divided into two morphologic sub-types: small-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is an aggressive neoplasm which hardly responds to any conventional chemotherapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinase that is mainly over-expressed in NSCLC. EGFR is mainly involved in the pathogenesis and progression of different carcinoma. In vivo and in vitro studies suggest that EGFR and EGF like peptides are often over-expressed in human NSCLC and these proteins are able to induce cell transformation. The conventional therapies mostly inhibit the EGFR activity and expression level in human NSCLC with the use of some EGFR-inhibitors like HKI-272, EKB569, CL-387785 etc. and some synthetic chemotherapeutic drugs like erlotinib, gefitinib, plumbagin, docetaxel, cisplatin etc., alone or in combination of two or more drugs. These therapies selectively act by competitive inhibition of the binding of adenosine triphosphate to the tyrosine kinase domain of the EGFR, resulting in inhibition of the EGFR signaling pathway. But these chemotherapeutic drugs have some cytotoxic activities to the normal cells and have some adverse side-effects. Recent studies on some traditional alternative therapies including some herbal and plant extracts, active ingredients like curcumin, different homeopathic drugs, etc. can target EGFR-signalling in NSCLC with less toxic side-effects are being currently developed.05/2013; 3(2). DOI:10.5667/tang.2012.0048
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ABSTRACT: Molecularly targeted therapies aim to interfere with molecular mechanisms, selectively involved in carcinogenesis and tumor growth in order to optimize the efficacy and minimize the side effects of anticancer treatment. In the last decade, several receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have become approved for therapeutic use in hematological malignancies as well as solid tumors. However, a major challenge remains in the selection of patients most likely to respond to these agents. Successful examples of personalizing molecularly targeted therapies based on biomarkers include the use of trastuzumab in HER-2 overexpressing breast cancer and imatinib in c-KIT expressing gastrointestinal stromal tumor. In contrast, EGFR and anti-angiogenic TKIs have mostly been evaluated in unselected patient groups and so far no biomarkers that predict or reflect the efficacy of these TKIs have been validated in clinical practice. Nevertheless, potential biomarkers, including EGFR gene copy number and the absence of K-ras mutations for anti-EGFR agents, and functional imaging for anti-angiogenic agents, have been identified. These biomarkers await validation in randomized phase III trials to confirm their value in predicting drug efficacy. In order to maximize efficiency in the search for valid predictive biomarkers, there is an urgent need for the standardization of their assessment, as well as the techniques employed in their assays. This article will focus on studies that address biomarker discovery or validation for EGFR and anti-angiogenic TKIs, differentiating those markers that predict for drug efficacy (predictive markers) from those that reflect drug mechanisms of action or effects (pharmacodynamic markers).Drug resistance updates: reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy 07/2008; 11(3):99-109. DOI:10.1016/j.drup.2008.04.001 · 8.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Because the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib and the multitargeted antifolate pemetrexed are registered in the treatment of second-line non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), empirical combinations of these drugs are being tested. This study investigated molecular mechanisms underlying their combination in six NSCLC cell lines. Cells were characterized by heterogeneous expression of pemetrexed determinants, including thymidylate synthase (TS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), and mutations potentially affecting chemosensitivity. Pharmacological interaction was studied using the combination index (CI) method, whereas cell cycle, apoptosis induction, and EGFR, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2, and Akt phosphorylation were studied by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blot, and activity assays were performed to assess whether erlotinib influenced TS. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium assays demonstrated that EGFR and k-Ras mutations were related to erlotinib sensitivity, whereas TS and DHFR expression were related to pemetrexed sensitivity. Synergistic cytotoxicity was found in all cells, most pronounced with pemetrexed + erlotinib (24 h) --> erlotinib (48 h) sequence (CI, 0.09-0.40), which was associated with a significant induction of apoptosis. Pemetrexed increased EGFR phosphorylation and reduced Akt phosphorylation, which was additionally reduced by drug combination (-70.6% in H1650). Erlotinib significantly reduced TS expression and activity, possibly via E2F-1 reduction, as detected by RT-PCR and Western blot, and the combination decreased TS in situ activity in all cells. Erlotinib and pemetrexed showed a strong synergism in NSCLC cells, regardless of their genetic characteristics. Induction of apoptosis, modulation of EGFR and Akt phosphorylation, and changes in the expression of critical genes involved in pemetrexed activity contribute to this synergistic interaction and support the clinical investigation of these markers.Molecular pharmacology 04/2008; 73(4):1290-300. DOI:10.1124/mol.107.042382 · 4.12 Impact Factor