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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antitumor effect and enhancement of cytotoxic drug activity by cetuximab in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.

BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma ( NPC) is the most common head and neck cancer in southern China and South East Asia. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been proposed as a new target for anticancer therapy. EGFR was over- expressed in 85% of NPC tissues and was associated with poor prognosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: EGFR protein expression in four NPC cell lines, CNE-2, HONE-1, HK1 and C666-1, was examined by Western immunoblotting. The antitumor effect of cetuximab was studied in the cell lines, either alone or in combination with cisplatin or paclitaxel. RESULTS: EGFR protein expression was highest in the HK1 cell line, moderate in CNE-2 and HONE-1, and lowest in C666-1. Single agent cetuximab demonstrated significant antitumor effect in the HK1 and HONE-1 cell lines, but minimal activity in CNE-2 and C666-1 cells. When cetuximab was combined with cisplatin or paclitaxel in the HK1 and HONE-1 cell lines, an additive enhancement of cytotoxic drug activity was demonstrated. CONCLUSION: Cetuximab demonstrated single agent activity selectively in NPC cell lines with moderate to high EGFR protein expression. Cetuximab could also additively enhance the antitumor effects of cisplatin or paclitaxel in these NPC cell lines. These results support the rationale of combining cetuximab with current standard chemotherapy to further improve the therapeutic ratio in the treatment of NPC. Future studies should aim at defining the predictive markers for response to cetuximab in order to select the responsive tumor for the correctly targeted agents.[1]


  1. Antitumor effect and enhancement of cytotoxic drug activity by cetuximab in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Sung, F.L., Poon, T.C., Hui, E.P., Ma, B.B., Liong, E., To, K.F., Huang, D.P., Chan, A.T. In Vivo (2005) [Pubmed]
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