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

Combination treatment with erlotinib and pertuzumab against human tumor xenografts is superior to monotherapy.

In many solid tumors, overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptors (e.g., HER1/EGFR and HER2) correlates with poor prognosis. Erlotinib (Tarceva) is a potent HER1/EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Pertuzumab (Omnitarg), a novel HER2-specific, recombinant, humanized monoclonal antibody, prevents heterodimerization of HER2 with other HERs. Both mechanisms disrupt signaling pathways, resulting in tumor growth inhibition. We evaluated whether inhibition of both mechanisms is superior to monotherapy in tumor cell lines expressing different HER levels. Human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells (Calu-3: HER1/EGFR 0+, HER2 3+; QG56: HER1/EGFR 2-3+, HER2 0+) and breast cancer cells (KPL-4: HER1/EGFR 2-3+, HER2 3+) were implanted into BALB/c nu/nu mice and severe combined immunodeficient beige mice, respectively. Tumor-bearing mice (n = 12 or 15 per group) were treated with vehicle (Captisol or buffer), erlotinib (orally, 50 mg/kg/d), pertuzumab (i.p. 6 mg/kg/wk with a 2-fold loading dose), or erlotinib and pertuzumab for 20 (QG56), 27 (KPL-4), or 49 (Calu-3) days. Drug monotherapy had antitumor activity in all models. Tumor volume treatment-to-control ratios (TCR) with erlotinib were 0.36 (Calu-3), 0.79 (QG56), and 0.51 (KPL-4). Pertuzumab TCR values were 0.42, 0.51, and 0.64 in Calu-3, QG56, and KPL-4 models, respectively. Combination treatment resulted in additive (QG56: TCR 0.39; KPL-4: TCR 0.38) or greater than additive (Calu-3: TCR 0.12) antitumor activity. Serum tumor markers for NSCLC (Cyfra 21.1) and breast cancer (soluble HER2) were markedly inhibited by combination treatment (80-97% in Calu-3 and QG56; 92% in KPL-4), correlating with decreased tumor volume. Overall, erlotinib and pertuzumab are active against various human xenograft models, independently of HER1/EGFR or HER2 expression. A combination of these HER-targeted agents resulted in additive or greater than additive antitumor activity.[1]


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