[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is produced as a type-I, single-pass transmembrane protein that can be cleaved to release a diffusible peptide. HB-EGF, often overexpressed in damaged or diseased epithelium, is normally expressed in pancreatic islets, but its function is not understood.
To understand the function of each isoform of HB-EGF, we made transgenes expressing either a constitutively transmembrane or a constitutively secreted protein.
The transmembrane isoform was not an inert precursor protein, but a functional molecule, downregulating the glucose-sensing apparatus of pancreatic islets. Conversely, the secreted form of HB-EGF improved islet function, but had severe fibrotic and neoplastic effects on surrounding tissues. Each isoform had a more severe phenotype than that of full-length HB-EGF, even though the full-length protein was efficiently cleaved, thus producing both isoforms, suggesting that a level of regulation was lost by separating the isoforms.
This work demonstrates that islet function depends on the ratio of cleaved to uncleaved HB-EGF and that the transmembrane intermediate, while deleterious to islet function, is necessary to restrict action of soluble HB-EGF away from surrounding tissue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overactivity plays a significant role in colon cancer biology and has been associated with poor clinical prognosis. Early clinical trials reported efficacy of receptor-targeted compounds, including modulation of clinical irinotecan resistance. We investigated the effects of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib on cellular determinants of irinotecan resistance in human colon cancer cells. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, gefitinib sensitized colon cancer cells to SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan. Gefitinib increased the SN-38-mediated induction of protein-linked DNA single-strand breaks in a dose-dependent manner, with no alteration of topoisomerase (Topo) I protein expression or enzymatic activity. Whereas Topo IIbeta protein expression was not affected by gefitinib, significant time- and concentration-dependent downregulation of Topo IIalpha protein and inhibition of its enzymatic function were observed, corresponding to a G1 phase cell cycle arrest. Gefitinib significantly inhibited EGFR-associated signaling molecules, including phospho-mitogen-activated protein kinase or protein kinase C, which may account for decreases in proliferation or topoisomerase activity, respectively. Although a dose-dependent decrease of the BCRP/MXR/ABCP half-transporter was observed under gefitinib, cellular pharmacokinetics revealed no significant differences in accumulation or retention of the active SN-38 lactone using reverse-phase HPLC analysis. This study delineates mechanisms that may contribute to the synergism observed between irinotecan and EGFR inhibitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Options for first-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma have broadened considerably with the introduction of irinotecan and oxaliplatin. Furthermore, the oral fluoropyrimidine capecitabine has demonstrated efficacy in Phase III trials and recently was approved for first-line treatment in Europe and the United States. Capecitabine yielded similar median times to disease progression and median survival rates compared with bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin (LV) (Mayo Clinic/North Central Cancer Treatment Group regimen), with superior and similar response rates, respectively. However, its role as a first-line, single-agent substitute for intermittent infusional 5-FU/LV remains to be defined. The addition of irinotecan or oxaliplatin to 5-FU/LV resulted in improved response rates and progression-free survival in large, randomized trials; moreover, irinotecan-containing regimens resulted in improved overall survival. Prevalent regimens of irinotecan/5-FU/LV and oxaliplatin/5-FU/LV have been compared in two randomized Phase III trials. One study demonstrated the statistical superiority of oxaliplatin/infusional 5-FU/LV over irinotecan/bolus 5-FU/LV in terms of response, time to disease progression, and median survival; however, those advantages may have been attributable to infusional administration or to major differences in second-line therapy. A randomized Phase III study comparing irinotecan and oxaliplatin in combination with the same infusional 5-FU/LV regimens and crossover in case of disease progression showed equivalent efficacy for both schedules in the first-line setting, but the irinotecan combination proved beneficial in terms of safety. New molecular targeted agents, such as angiogenesis-modulating compounds (e.g., bevacizumab) and epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (e.g., cetuximab), are under clinical investigation. This review updates current systemic frontline treatments and future perspectives for patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma.
Cancer 05/2004; 100(8):1558-77. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the safety and tolerability and to explore the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile of the humanized antiepidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody EMD72000 in patients with solid tumors that express epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
This was a phase I dose-escalation trial of EMD72000 in patients with advanced, EGFR-positive, solid malignancies that were not amenable to any established chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. EMD72000 was administered weekly without routine premedication until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Twenty-two patients were treated with EMD72000 at five different dose levels (400 to 2,000 mg/wk). National Cancer Institute common toxicity criteria grade 3 headache and fever occurring after the first infusion were dose limiting at 2,000 mg/wk; thus, the maximum-tolerated dose was 1,600 mg/wk. No other severe side effects, especially no allergic reactions or diarrhea, were observed. Acneiform skin reaction was the most common toxicity, but it was mild, with grade 1 in 11 patients (50%) and grade 2 in three patients (14%). Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated a predictable pharmacokinetic profile for EMD72000. Pharmacodynamic studies on serial skin biopsies revealed that EMD72000 effectively abrogated EGFR-mediated cell signaling (eg, reduced phosphorylation of EGFR and mitogen-activated protein kinase), with no alteration in total EGFR protein. Objective responses (23%; 95% CI, 8% to 45%) and disease stabilization (27%; 95% CI, 11% to 50%) were achieved at all dose levels, and responding patients received treatment for up to 18 months without cumulative toxicity.
Treatment with EMD72000 was well tolerated and showed evidence of activity in heavily pretreated patients with EGFR-expressing tumors. EMD72000 at the investigated doses significantly inhibited downstream EGFR-dependent processes.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2004; 22(1):175-84. · 18.04 Impact Factor