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Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 15;70(18):7221-31. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0391. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

Differential mechanisms of acquired resistance to insulin-like growth factor-i receptor antibody therapy or to a small-molecule inhibitor, BMS-754807, in a human rhabdomyosarcoma model.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ 08543, USA.


Agents targeting insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR), including antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors, are currently in clinical development for the treatment of cancers including sarcoma. However, development of resistance is a common phenomenon resulting in failures of anticancer therapies. In light of this problem, we developed two resistant models from the rhabdomyosarcoma cell line Rh41: Rh41-807R, with acquired resistance to BMS-754807, a small-molecule dual-kinase inhibitor targeting IGF-IR and insulin receptor (IR), and Rh41-MAB391R, with resistance to MAB391, an IGF-IR-blocking antibody. In addition, tumor xenograft models were established from Rh41 and Rh41-807R cell lines. Gene expression and DNA copy number analyses of these models revealed shared as well as unique acquired resistance mechanisms for the two types of IGF-IR inhibitors. Each resistant model used different signaling pathways as a mechanism for proliferation. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) was amplified, overexpressed, and constitutively activated in Rh41-807R cells and tumors. Knockdown of PDGFRα by small interfering RNA in Rh41-807R resensitized the cells to BMS-754807. Synergistic activities were observed when BMS-754807 was combined with PDGFRα inhibitors in the Rh41-807R model in vitro. In contrast, AXL expression was highly elevated in Rh41-MAB391R but downregulated in Rh41-807R. Notably, BMS-754807 was active in Rh41-MAB391R cells and able to overcome resistance to MAB391, but MAB391 was not active in Rh41-807R cells, suggesting potentially broader clinical activity of BMS-754807. This is the first study to define and compare acquired resistance mechanisms for IGF-IR-targeted therapies. It provides insights into the differential acquired resistance mechanisms for IGF-IR/IR small-molecule inhibitor versus anti-IGF-IR antibody.

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