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J Immunol. 2008 Mar 15;180(6):4338-45.

Tumor cell killing mechanisms of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies are not affected by lung cancer-associated EGFR kinase mutations.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) serves as a molecular target for novel cancer therapeutics such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and EGFR Abs. Recently, specific mutations in the EGFR kinase domain of lung cancers were identified, which altered the signaling capacity of the receptor and which correlated with clinical response or resistance to TKI therapy. In the present study, we investigated the impact of such EGFR mutations on antitumor cell activity of EGFR Abs. Thus, an EGFR-responsive cell line model was established, in which cells with tumor-derived EGFR mutations (L858R, G719S, delE746-A750) were significantly more sensitive to TKI than wild-type EGFR-expressing cells. A clinically relevant secondary mutation (T790M) abolished TKI sensitivity. Significantly, antitumor effects of EGFR Abs, including signaling and growth inhibition and Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, were not affected by any of these mutations. Somatic tumor-associated EGFR kinase mutations, which modulate growth inhibition by TKI, therefore do not impact the activity of therapeutic Abs in vitro.

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