Dasatinib worsens the effect of cetuximab in combination with fractionated radiotherapy in FaDu- and A431-derived xenografted tumours.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cetuximab is often combined with radiotherapy in advanced SCCHN. Alternative routes bypassing inhibition of EGFR with cetuximab may overshadow the efficacy of this combination. We undertook this study to investigate a possible role of dasatinib in this scenario. METHODS: The SCC5, SCC25, SCC29, FaDu and A431 cell lines were assessed in vitro for cell proliferation under cetuximab and dasatinib treatments. In FaDu and A431 cells, dasatinib plus cetuximab resulted in higher proliferation than cetuximab alone. Then, FaDu and A431 cells were implanted into subcutaneous tissue of athymic mice that were irradiated with 30?Gy in 10 fractions over 2 weeks, and treated with cetuximab and dasatinib. Tumour growth, DNA synthesis and angiogenesis were determined. The EGFR, RAS-GTP activity, phosphorylated AKT, ERK1/2, SRC protein levels and VEGF secretion were determined in vitro. RESULTS: The addition of dasatinib to cetuximab and radiotherapy increased tumour growth, DNA synthesis and angiogenesis that were associated with RAS, AKT and ERK1/2 activation, and SRC inhibition in FaDu and A431 cells. CONCLUSIONS: In xenografts derived from these two cell lines, dasatinib did not improve the efficacy of cetuximab combined with radiotherapy. On the contrary, it worsened tumour control achieved by the combination of these two treatments.
Project description:Resistance to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) gefitinib and erlotinib, often related to Ras or secondary EGFR mutations, is a relevant clinical issue in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Although Src TK has been involved in such resistance, clinical development of its inhibitors has been so far limited. To better define the molecular targets of the Src TKIs saracatinib, dasatinib and bosutinib, we used a variety of in vitro/in vivo studies. Kinase assays supported by docking analysis demonstrated that all the compounds directly inhibit EGFR TK variants. However, in live cells only saracatinib efficiently reduced EGFR activation, while dasatinib was the most effective agent in inhibiting Src TK. Consistently, a pronounced anti-proliferative effect was achieved with saracatinib, in EGFR mutant cells, or with dasatinib, in wt EGFR/Ras mutant cells, poorly dependent on EGFR and erlotinib-resistant. We then identified the most effective drug combinations to overcome resistance to EGFR inhibitors, both in vitro and in nude mice: in T790M EGFR erlotinib-resistant cells, saracatinib with the anti-EGFR mAb cetuximab; in Ras mutant erlotinib-resistant models, dasatinib with the MEK inhibitor selumetinib. Src inhibitors may act with different mechanisms in NSCLCs, depending on EGFR/Ras mutational profile, and may be integrated with EGFR or MEK inhibitors for different cohorts of NSCLCs.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor - tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) is the first choice of treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbouring activating EGFR mutations. However, single agent usually has limited efficacy due to heterogeneous resistant mechanisms of cancer cells. Thus drug combination therapy would offer more benefits by synergistic interactions and avoidance of resistance emergence. In this study, we selected 8 NSCLC cell lines with different genetic characteristics as research models to investigate the efficacy of 4 agents (gefitinib, cetuximab, afatinib and dasatinib) and their combinations. As a single agent, both afatinib and dasatinib showed more inhibition against cell proliferation than gefitinib and cetuximab. Afatinib combined with dasatinib demonstrated significantly high efficacy against 7 gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cell lines. Moreover, it reversed the resistance to the 4 studied single agents in PTEN mutated NSCLC cells. By studying the activity of EGFR, Src and their downstream signalling pathways including PI3K/PTEN/Akt, Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, Src/FAK and JAK/Stat, we demonstrated the synergistic interaction between afatinib and dasatinib was not only due to their blockage of different signalling pathways but also the complemental inhibition of the related signalling molecules such as Stat3. We also found that the level of Src, Stat3, and MAPK may be useful biomarkers predicating synergism between afatinib and dasatinib for the treatment of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:At least 50% of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, which paved the way for clinical trials investigating its blockade. Outcomes remained dismal stemming from mechanisms of resistance particularly the nuclear cycling of EGFR, which is enhanced by Src activation. Attenuation of Src reversed nuclear translocation, restoring EGFR to the cell surface. Herein, we hypothesize that changes in cellular distribution of EGFR upon Src inhibition with dasatinib can be annotated through the EGFR immunopositron emission tomography (immunoPET) radiotracer, [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab. METHODS:Nuclear and non-nuclear EGFR levels of dasatinib-treated vs. untreated MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells were analyzed via immunoblots. Both treated and untreated cells were exposed to [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to assess binding at 4?°C and 37?°C. EGFR-positive MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and a patient-derived xenograft were treated with dasatinib or vehicle followed by cetuximab PET imaging to compare EGFR levels. After imaging, the treated mice were separated into two groups: one cohort continued with dasatinib with the addition of cetuximab while the other cohort received dasatinib alone. Correlations between the radiotracer uptake vs. changes in tumor growth and EGFR expression from immunoblots were analyzed. RESULTS:Treated cells displayed higher binding of [89Zr]Zr-cetuximab to the cell membrane at 4?°C and with greater internalized activity at 37?°C vs. untreated cells. In all tumor models, higher accumulation of the radiotracer in dasatinib-treated groups was observed compared to untreated tumors. Treated tumors displayed significantly decreased pSrc (Y416) with retained total Src levels compared to control. In MDA-MB-468 and PDX tumors, the analysis of cetuximab PET vs. changes in tumor volume showed an inverse relationship where high tracer uptake in the tumor demonstrated minimal tumor volume progression. Furthermore, combined cetuximab and dasatinib treatment showed better tumor regression compared to control and dasatinib-only-treated groups. No benefit was achieved in MDA-MB-231 xenografts with the addition of cetuximab, likely due to its KRAS-mutated status. CONCLUSIONS:Cetuximab PET can monitor effects of dasatinib on EGFR cellular distribution and potentially inform treatment response in wild-type KRAS TNBC.
Project description:Head and neck cancer stem cells (CSCs) are highly resistant to treatment. When EGFR is overexpressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), HER2 and HER3 are also expressed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of HER1/2/3 blockade through a combination of cetuximab and pertuzumab, with or without photon irradiation, on the proliferation and migration/invasion capabilities of an HNSCC chemo- and radioresistant human cell line (SQ20B) and its corresponding stem cell subpopulation. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion were studied after treatment with cetuximab +/- pertuzumab +/- 10?Gy photon irradiation. EGFR, phospho-EGFR, HER2 and HER3 protein expression levels were studied. Activation or inhibition of the RAS/MAPK and AKT-mTOR downstream signalling cascades was investigated through phospho-AKT and phospho-MEK1/2 expression. Cetuximab strongly inhibited SQ20B and FaDu cell proliferation, migration and invasion, whereas it had little effect on SQ20B-CSCs. Cetuximab-pertuzumab combined with radiation significantly inhibited SQ20B and FaDu cell and SQ20B-CSC proliferation, migration and invasion. Cetuximab-pertuzumab with 10?Gy photon irradiation switched off both phospho-AKT and phospho-MEK1/2 expression in the three populations. The triple therapy is therefore thought to inhibit SQ20B cells, SQ20B-CSCs and FaDu cells through an AKT-mTOR and Ras-MAPK downstream signalling blockade.
Project description:The EGFR-specific mAb cetuximab is one of the most effective treatments for oropharyngeal carcinoma, while patient responses to EGFR inhibitors given alone are modest. Combination treatment with radiation can improve the efficacy of treatment through increasing radiosensitivity, while resistance to radiation after administration of cetuximab limits its efficiency. Radiation and drugs can damage the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostatic state and result in ER stress (ERS), subsequently causing resistance to radiation and drugs. Whether the ERS pathway is involved in radioresistance after administration of cetuximab has not been reported. Herein, we show that cetuximab could increase the radiosensitivity of FaDu cells but not Detroit562 cells. In addition, cetuximab inhibited the radiation-induced activation of the ERS signalling pathway IRE1?/ATF6-GRP78 in FaDu cells, while this effect was absent in Detroit562 cells. Silencing GRP78 increased the radiosensitivity of oropharyngeal carcinoma cells and inhibited radiation-induced DNA double-strand-break (DSB) repair and autophagy. More interestingly, silencing GRP78 abrogated resistance to cetuximab and radiation in Detroit562 cells and had a synergistic effect with cetuximab in increasing the radiosensitivity of FaDu cells. Immunohistochemistry showed that overexpression of both GRP78 and EGFR was associated with a poor prognosis in oropharyngeal carcinoma patients (P<0.05). Overall, the results of this study show that radioresistance after EGFR inhibition by cetuximab is mediated by the ERS signalling pathway IRE1?/ATF6-GRP78. This suppression was consequently unable to inhibit radiation-induced DSB repair and autophagy in oropharyngeal carcinoma cells, which conferred resistance to radiotherapy and cetuximab. These results suggest that the cooperative effects of radiotherapy and cetuximab could be further improved by inhibiting GRP78 in non-responsive oropharyngeal carcinoma patients.
Project description:Combined inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Src family kinases (SFK) may lead to improved therapeutic effects. We evaluated the combination of dasatinib, an inhibitor of SFK and other kinases, and cetuximab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody.Patients with advanced solid malignancies received cetuximab intravenously on a standard weekly schedule and dasatinib orally, once daily at 3 dose levels: (1) 100 mg, (2) 150 mg, (3) 200 mg. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of dasatinib were performed prior to starting cetuximab and following 14 days of treatment.Twenty-five patients (3 dose level 1; 19 dose level 2; 3 dose level 3) were initially treated. Three patients developed dose-limiting toxicities: 1 at dose level 2 (headache) and 2 at dose level 3 (headache, nausea). Grade 3-4 toxicities in more than 2 patients included: dyspnea (4), vomiting (4), nausea (3), hypersensitivity reactions (3), headache (3) and anemia (3). Twenty-one patients developed headache (8 grade 1; 10 grade 2), which occurred after the loading of cetuximab and lasted 1-3 days. Six additional patients were treated with dasatinib starting 3 days after the loading dose of cetuximab; none developed headache after dasatinib. Dasatinib pharmacokinetics and a transient decrease in SFK PY416 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were not altered by cetuximab. Patients with higher plasma TGF-alpha levels had worse progression-free survival.Dasatinib 150 mg once daily plus weekly cetuximab is recommended for phase II studies. Early-onset headache was ameliorated by starting dasatinib after cetuximab.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Src family kinase (SFK) activation circumvents epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeting in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); dual SFK-EGFR targeting could overcome cetuximab resistance. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We conducted a Simon two-stage, phase II trial of the SFK inhibitor, dasatinib, and cetuximab in biomarker-unselected patients with cetuximab-resistant, recurrent/metastatic HNSCC. Pre- and post-treatment serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL6) were measured by ELISA. HNSCC cell lines were assessed for viability and effects of IL6 modulation following dasatinib-cetuximab treatment. RESULTS:In the first stage, 13 patients were evaluable for response: 7 had progressive and 6 had stable disease (SD). Enrollment was halted for futility, and biomarker analysis initiated. Low serum IL6 levels were associated with SD (raw p=0.028, adjusted p=0.14) and improved overall survival (p=0.010). The IL6 classifier was validated in a separate trial of the same combination, but was unable to segregate survival risk in a clinical trial of cetuximab and bevacizumab suggesting serum IL6 may be specific for the dasatinib-cetuximab combination. Enhanced in vitro HNSCC cell death was observed with dasatinib-cetuximab versus single agent treatment; addition of IL6-containing media abrogated this effect. CONCLUSION:Clinical benefit and overall survival from the dasatinib-cetuximab combination were improved among patients with low serum IL6. Preclinical studies support IL6 as a modifier of dasatinib-cetuximab response. In the setting of clinical cetuximab resistance, serum IL6 is a candidate predictive marker specific for combined dasatinib-cetuximab. The trial was modified and redesigned as a biomarker-enriched Phase II study enrolling patients with undetectable IL6.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway is involved in the balance between melanocyte proliferation and differentiation. The same pathway is constitutively activated in cutaneous and uveal melanoma (UM) and related to tumour growth and survival. Whereas mutant BRAF and NRAS are responsible for the activation of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway in most cutaneous melanoma, mutations in these genes are usually absent in UM. METHODS: We set out to explore the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway and used mitogen-activated protein kinase profiling and tyrosine kinase arrays. RESULTS: We identified Src as a kinase that is associated with ERK1/2 activation in UM. However, low Src levels and reduced ERK1/2 activation in metastatic cell lines suggest that proliferation in metastases can become independent of Src and RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signalling. Inhibition of Src led to the growth reduction of primary UM cultures and cell lines, whereas metastatic cell line growth was only slightly reduced. CONCLUSION: We identified Src as an important kinase and a potential target for treatment in primary UM. Metastasis cell lines seemed largely resistant to Src inhibition and indicate that in metastases treatment, a different approach may be required.