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BMC Cancer. 2016 Oct 12;16(1):791.

Combined application of anti-VEGF and anti-EGFR attenuates the growth and angiogenesis of colorectal cancer mainly through suppressing AKT and ERK signaling in mice model.

Author information

1
Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, 210009, China.
2
Department of Immunology, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, 563003, China.
3
Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, 563003, China.
4
Medical School of Southeast University, Nanjing, 210009, China. nationball@163.com.
5
Center of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210009, China. nationball@163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Angiogenesis is generally involved during the cancer development and hematogenous metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are considered to have an important role in tumor-associated angiogenesis. However, the effects of simultaneously targeting on VEGF and EGFR on the growth and angiogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC), and its underlying mechanisms remain unknown.

METHODS:

Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the VEGF and EGFR expression in different CRC tissue specimens, and the correlation between VEGF/EGFR expression with the clinicopathologic features was analyzed. Cell counting kit‑8 (CCK-8) and transwell assays were used to assess the cellular proliferation and invasion of CRC cells after treated with anti-VEGF antibody and/or anti-EGFR antibody in vitro, respectively. Moreover, in vivo tumor formation was performed on nude mice model, and the tumor microvessel density (MVD) was determined by anti-CD34 staining in different groups. Finally, we evaluated the impact of anti-VEGF antibody and/or anti-EGFR antibody on the activation of downstream signaling effectors using western blot.

RESULTS:

VEGF and EGFR were upregulated in CRC tissues, and their expression levels were correlated with hepatic metastasis. Blockage on VEGF or EGFR alone could inhibit the cellular proliferation and metastasis while their combination could reach a good synergism in vitro. In addition, in vivo xenograft mice model demonstrated that the tumor formation and angiogenesis were strongly suppressed by combination treatment of anti-VEGF and anti-EGFR antibodies. Besides, the combination treatment significantly reduced the activation of AKT and ERK1/2, but barely affected the activation of c-Myc, NF-κB/p65 and IκBα in CRC cells tumors. Interestingly, anti-VEGF antibody or anti-EGFR antibody alone could attenuate the phosphorylation of STAT3 as compared with negative control group, whereas the combined application not further suppressed but at least partially restored the activation of STAT3 in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Simultaneous targeting on VEGF and EGFR does show significant inhibition on CRC tumor growth and angiogenesis in mice model, and these effects are mainly attributed to suppression of the AKT and ERK signaling pathways.

KEYWORDS:

Angiogenesis; Colorectal cancer; EGFR; VEGF

PMID:
27729020
PMCID:
PMC5059930
DOI:
10.1186/s12885-016-2834-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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