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Cancer Invest. 2010 Oct;28(8):775-87. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2010.483506.

Cetuximab insufficiently inhibits glioma cell growth due to persistent EGFR downstream signaling.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Biology, The Finsen Center, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Overexpression and/or amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is present in 35-45% of primary glioblastoma multiforme tumors and has been correlated with a poor prognosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of cetuximab and intracellular signaling pathways downstream of EGFR, important for cell survival and proliferation. We show insufficient EGFR downregulation and competition with endogenous EGFR ligands upon cetuximab treatment. Dose-response experiments showed inhibition of EGFR phosphorylation without affecting two of the prominent downstream signaling pathways. Our results indicate that amplification and/or overexpression of EGFR is an unsatisfactory predictor for response to cetuximab.

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