Lapatinib, a dual inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, potentiates the antitumor effects of cisplatin on esophageal carcinoma

Diseases of the Esophagus, 04/06/2012

The findings indicated that the combination of lapatinib and cisplatin is one of the promising treatment strategies for esophageal carcinomas with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression.

  • Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression occurs in over 30% of esophageal carcinomas.
  • Combination therapies of EGFR- and HER2-targeting agents with cytotoxic agents are considered a potential therapeutic strategy for esophageal cancer.
  • The antitumor effects of lapatinib, a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of EGFR and HER2, cisplatin alone, and the combination of the two drugs on esophageal cancer cells were evaluated.
  • The growth inhibition activity of lapatinib, cisplatin, and lapatinib plus cisplatin was measured by 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiahiazo(-z-y1)-3,5-di-phenytetrazoliumromide (MTT) assays, and the combination index values were calculated.
  • Additionally, cell cycle distribution and cell apoptosis treated with lapatinib or cisplatin alone and the combination of the two drugs were detected by flow cytometry analysis.
  • The activation of EGFR and HER2 signaling pathways was monitored by Western blot analysis.
  • These experimental data showed that the combination of lapatinib and cisplatin synergistically inhibited cell proliferation and exhibited an enhanced pro-apoptotic effect on esophageal cancer cells.
  • The underlying mechanisms of potentiated effects of combined treatment were associated with reduced phosphorylation of EGFR and HER2, and the downstream signaling molecules AKT and extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK).

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