Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nucl Med. 2013 Jun;54(6):913-21. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.112.111534. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Treatment of triple-negative breast cancer using anti-EGFR-directed radioimmunotherapy combined with radiosensitizing chemotherapy and PARP inhibitor.

Author information

  • 1Signal Transduction Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. fares.al-ejeh@qimr.edu.au


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with poor survival. Chemotherapy is the only standard treatment for TNBC. The prevalence of BRCA1 inactivation in TNBC has rationalized clinical trials of poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. Similarly, the overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) rationalized anti-EGFR therapies in this disease. However, clinical trials using these 2 strategies have not reached their promise. In this study, we used EGFR as a target for radioimmunotherapy and hypothesized that EGFR-directed radioimmunotherapy can deliver a continuous lethal radiation dose to residual tumors that are radiosensitized by PARP inhibitors and chemotherapy.


We analyzed EGFR messenger RNA in published gene expression array studies and investigated EGFR protein expression by immunohistochemistry in a cohort of breast cancer patients to confirm EGFR as a target in TNBC. Preclinically, using orthotopic and metastatic xenograft models of EGFR-positive TNBC, we investigated the effect of the novel combination of (177)Lu-labeled anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, chemotherapy, and PARP inhibitors on cell death and the survival of breast cancer stem cells.


In this first preclinical study of anti-EGFR radioimmunotherapy in breast cancer, we found that anti-EGFR radioimmunotherapy is safe and that TNBC orthotopic tumors and established metastases were eradicated in mice treated with anti-EGFR radioimmunotherapy combined with chemotherapy and PARP inhibitors. We showed that the superior response to this triple-agent combination therapy was associated with apoptosis and eradication of putative breast cancer stem cells.


Our data support further preclinical investigations toward the development of combination therapies using systemic anti-EGFR radioimmunotherapy for the treatment of recurrent and metastatic TNBC.


EGFR; PARP inhibitor; combination therapy; radioimmunotherapy; triple-negative breast cancer

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk