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Br J Cancer. 2002 Feb 1;86(3):456-62.

Targeting the EGF receptor in ovarian cancer with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor ZD 1839 ("Iressa").

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Medical Oncology Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Scotland, UK.


The modulating effects of the orally active epidermal growth factor receptor-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor ZD 1839 ("Iressa") on cell growth and signalling were evaluated in four ovarian cancer cell lines (PE01, PE04, SKOV-3, OVCAR-5) that express the epidermal growth factor receptor, and in A2780, which is epidermal growth factor receptor-negative. Transforming growth factor-alpha stimulated growth was completely inhibited by concentrations of ZD 1839 > or =0.3 microM in the epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing cell lines, as were transforming growth factor-alpha stimulated phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and downstream components of the MAP kinase and PI-3 kinase signalling cascades. Growth inhibition in the absence of added transforming growth factor-alpha was also observed which could be consistent with suppression of action of autocrine epidermal growth factor receptor-activating ligands by ZD 1839. In support of this, transforming growth factor-alpha, EGF and amphiregulin mRNAs were detected by RT-PCR in the epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing cell lines. ZD 1839 inhibited growth of the PE04 ovarian cancer xenograft at 200 mg kg(-1)day(-1). These data lend further support to the view that targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in ovarian cancer could have therapeutic benefit.

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