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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Aug;152(3):533-44. doi: 10.1007/s10549-015-3504-2. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

In vitro and in vivo studies of the combination of IGF1R inhibitor figitumumab (CP-751,871) with HER2 inhibitors trastuzumab and neratinib.

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Departments of Internal Medicine (Section of Medical Oncology) and Pharmacology, and The Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 George Street, Suite 120, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA.


The insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF1R) has been linked to resistance to HER2-directed therapy with trastuzumab (Herceptin). We examined the anti-tumor activity of figitumumab (CP-751,871), a human monoclonal antibody that blocks IGF1R ligand binding, alone and in combination with the therapeutic anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab and the pan-HER family tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib, using in vitro and in vivo breast cancer model systems. In vitro assays of proliferation, apoptosis, and signaling, and in vivo anti-tumor experiments were conducted in HER2-overexpressing (BT474) and HER2-normal (MCF7) models. We find single-agent activity of the HER2-targeting drugs but not figitumumab in the BT474 model, while the reverse is true in the MCF7 model. However, in both models, combining figitumumab with HER2-targeting drugs shows synergistic anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing effects, and optimum inhibition of downstream signaling. In murine xenograft models, synergistic anti-tumor effects were observed in the HER2-normal MCF7 model for the combination of figitumumab with trastuzumab, and, in the HER2-overexpressing BT474 model, enhanced anti-tumor effects were observed for the combination of figitumumab with either trastuzumab or neratinib. Analysis of tumor extracts from the in vivo experiments showed evidence of the most optimal inhibition of downstream signaling for the drug combinations over the single-agent therapies. These results suggest promise for such combinations in treating patients with breast cancer, and that, unlike the case for single-agent therapy, the therapeutic effects of such combinations may be independent of expression levels of the individual receptors or the single-agent activity profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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