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J Transl Med. 2013 Feb 19;11:45. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-11-45.

Targeting of interleukin-13 receptor α2 for treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma induced by conditional deletion of TGF-β and PTEN signaling.

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1
Functional Genomics Section, Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 30 Convent Drive, Building 30, Room 130, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The sixth leading class of cancer worldwide is head and neck cancer, which typically arise within the squamous epithelium of the oral mucosa. Human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is known to be difficult to treat and has only a 50% five-year survival rate. With HNSCC, novel therapeutics are needed along with a means of rapidly screening anti-cancer agents in vivo, such as mouse models.

METHODS:

In order to develop new animal models of cancer to test safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic agents for human HNSCC, tumors resembling clinical cases of human HNSCC were induced in the head and neck epithelium of a genetically engineered mouse model. This mouse model was generated by conditional deletion of two tumor suppressors, Transforming Growth Factor-β Receptor 1 (TGFβRI) and Phosphatase and Tensin homolog (PTEN), in the oral epithelium. We discovered that the tumors derived from these Tgfbr1/Pten double conditional knockout (2cKO) mice over-expressed IL-13Rα2, a high affinity receptor for IL-13 that can function as a tumor antigen. To demonstrate a proof-of-concept that targeted therapy against IL-13Rα2 expression would have any antitumor efficacy in this spontaneous tumor model, these mice were treated systemically with IL-13-PE, a recombinant immunotoxin consisting of IL-13 fused to the Pseudomonas exotoxin A.

RESULTS:

Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mice when treated with IL-13-PE displayed significantly increased survival when compared to the untreated control mice. The untreated mice exhibited weight loss, particularly with the rapid onset of tongue tumors, but the treated mice gained weight while on IL-13-PE therapy and showed no clinical signs of toxicity due to the immunotoxin. Expression of IL-13Rα2 in tumors was significantly decreased with IL-13-PE treatment as compared to the controls and the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) was also significantly reduced in the spleens of the IL-13-PE treated mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study demonstrates that the Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mouse model of human HNSCC is a useful model for assessing antitumor activity of new cancer therapeutic agents, and that IL-13-PE has therapeutic potential to treat human head and neck cancer.

PMID:
23421960
PMCID:
PMC3598213
DOI:
10.1186/1479-5876-11-45
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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