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Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 1;69(19):7662-71. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1693. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor-targeting antibody, CP-751,871, suppresses tumor-derived VEGF and synergizes with rapamycin in models of childhood sarcoma.

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Departments of Molecular Pharmacology, Biostatistics, and Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN38105, USA.


Signaling through the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) occurs in many human cancers, including childhood sarcomas. As a consequence, targeting the IGF-1R has become a focus for cancer drug development. We examined the antitumor activity of CP-751,871, a human antibody that blocks IGF-1R ligand binding, alone and in combination with rapamycin against sarcoma cell lines in vitro and xenograft models in vivo. In Ewing sarcoma (EWS) cell lines, CP751,871 inhibited growth poorly (<50%), but prevented rapamycin-induced hyperphosphorylation of AKT(Ser473) and induced greater than additive apoptosis. Rapamycin treatment also increased secretion of IGF-1 resulting in phosphorylation of IGF-1R (Tyr1131) that was blocked by CP751,871. In vivo CP-751,871, rapamycin, or the combination were evaluated against EWS, osteosarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts. CP751871 induced significant growth inhibition [EFS(T/C) >2] in four models. Rapamycin induced significant growth inhibition [EFS(T/C) >2] in nine models. Although neither agent given alone caused tumor regressions, in combination, these agents had greater than additive activity against 5 of 13 xenografts and induced complete remissions in one model each of rhabdomyosarcoma and EWS, and in three of four osteosarcoma models. CP751,871 caused complete IGF-1R down-regulation, suppression of AKT phosphorylation, and dramatically suppressed tumor-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in some sarcoma xenografts. Rapamycin treatment did not markedly suppress VEGF in tumors and synergized only in tumor lines where VEGF was dramatically inhibited by CP751,871. These data suggest a model in which blockade of IGF-1R suppresses tumor-derived VEGF to a level where rapamycin can effectively suppress the response in vascular endothelial cells.

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