Predictive value of hypoxia, proliferation and tyrosine kinase receptors for EGFR-inhibition and radiotherapy sensitivity in head and neck cancer models
SourceRadiotherapy and Oncology, 106, 3, (2013), pp. 383-389
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Genetic, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
Radiotherapy and Oncology
SubjectIGMD 6: Hormonal regulation ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; ONCOL 3: Translational research
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: EGFR-inhibitor Cetuximab (C225) improves the efficacy of radiotherapy in only a subgroup of HNSCC patients. Identification of predictive tumor characteristics is essential to improve patient selection. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Response to C225 and/or radiotherapy was assessed with tumor growth delay assays in 4 HNSCC xenograft models with varying EGFR-expression levels. Hypoxia and proliferation were quantified with immunohistochemistry and the expression of proteins involved in C225-resistance with Western blot. RESULTS: EGFR-expression did not predict response to C225 and/or radiotherapy. Reduction of hypoxia by C225 was only observed in SCCNij202, which was highly sensitive to C225. Proliferation changes correlated with response to C225 and C225 combined with radiotherapy, as proliferation decreased after C225 treatment in C225-sensitive SCCNij202 and after combined treatment in SCCNij185, which showed a synergistic effect to combined C225-radiotherapy. Furthermore, C225-resistant SCCNij153 tumors expressed high levels of (activated) HER3 and MET. CONCLUSIONS: EGFR-expression is needed for C225-response, but is not sufficient to predict response to C225 with or without radiotherapy. However, basal expression of additional growth factor receptors and effects on proliferation, but not hypoxia, correlated with response to combined C225-radiotherapy treatment and are potential clinically relevant predictive biomarkers.
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