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Klin Onkol. 2011;24(5):356-60.

Cetuximab enhances the anti-proliferative effect of trastuzumab in ERBB2 over-expressing breast cancer cells--preliminary study.

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Institute of Clinical and Molecular Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.



The tyrosine kinase receptor comprises a subclass of cell surface growth factor receptors. Inhibition of certain members of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) family is an effective treatment approach in some cancers. The anti-tumor effects are greater when this approach is combined with inhibition of the ERBB2 receptors. These studies provide novel experimental data demonstrating a significant augmentation of the anti-proliferative effects of monoclonal antibodies (cetuximab and trastuzumab) on human breast carcinoma cell lines with different level of ERBB receptor expression.


Three breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7, BT-474, and SK-BR-3 were used. These are characterised by different levels of EGFR and/or other ERBB family members. Inhibition of cell growth in response to cetuximab, trastuzumab or their combination was assessed by MTT assay.


The breast cancer cell lines differed in their sensitivity toTZ, CTX and their combination. The SK-BR-3 cancer cell line was sensitive to TZ. On the other hand, CTX had no effect on BT-474 or on SK-BR-3 that expressed low levels of EGFR and high levels of ERBB2.


Our new experimental data show that the combination of anti-EGF receptor and anti-ERBB2 mAb may inhibit cancer cells expressing both EGF and ERBB2 receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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