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PubMed | University of Bonn, Germany; Experimental Pharmacology & Oncology Berlin Buch GmbH, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) | Year: 2014

The therapeutic scheme for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients can be improved if adapted to the individual response. For example, 60-70% of adenocarcinoma patients show response to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the presence of mutated EGFR. We searched for additional target molecules involved in the action of the EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib in the absence of EGFR mutations, which might be suitable for combinatorial therapy approaches.Erlotinib-response associated proteins were investigated in patient-derived NSCLC mouse xenografts by reverse-phase protein array technology (RPPA) and Western blotting. A combinatorial treatment approach was carried out in NSCLC cell lines and H1299 mouse xenografts, and subsequently analyzed for consequences in cell growth and signal transduction.AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) expression was increased in erlotinib responders before and after treatment. In a combinatorial approach, activation of AMPK by A-769662 and erlotinib treatment showed a synergistic effect in cell growth reduction and apoptosis activation in H1299 cells compared to the single drugs. AMPK pathway analyses revealed an effective inhibition of mTOR signaling by drug combination. In H1299 xenografts, the tumor size was significantly decreased after combinatorial treatment.Our results suggest that AMPK activation status affects response to erlotinib in distinct lung tumor models.

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