Blockade of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling on tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells for therapy of human carcinomas

Am J Pathol. 2002 Sep;161(3):929-38. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)64253-8.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) and activated EGF-R by tumor-associated endothelial cells is influenced by interaction with specific growth factors in the microenvironment. Different human carcinoma cell lines expressing EGF-R with low or high levels of EGF/transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha were implanted into orthotopic organs of nude mice. In the EGF/TGF-alpha-positive bladder cancer (253J-BV), pancreatic cancer (L3.6pl), and renal cancer (RBM1-IT) but not in the EGF/TGF-alpha-negative renal cancer SN12-PM6, tumor-associated endothelial cells expressed EGF-R and activated EGF-R. Mice were implanted with human 253J-BV bladder tumors (EGF+) or human SN12-PM6 renal tumors (EGF-). Treatment with oral PKI 166 (a specific inhibitor of EGF-R phosphorylation) alone, intraperitoneal paclitaxel alone (253J-BV), gemcitabine alone (SN12-PM6), or combination of PKI 166 and chemotherapy produced a 60%, 32%, or 81% reduction in the volume of 253J-BV bladder tumors, respectively, and 26%, 23%, or 51% reduction in the volume of SN12-PM6 kidney tumors, respectively. Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated down-regulation of activated EGF-R in EGF/TGF-alpha-positive and EGF/TGF-alpha-negative lesions from mice treated with PKI 166, although apoptosis of tumor-associated endothelial cells was found only in EGF/TGF-alpha-positive tumors. Collectively, these data suggest that expression of activated EGF-R by tumor-associated endothelial cells provides an important target for therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / blood supply
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles
  • Deoxycytidine
  • PKI 166
  • gemcitabine
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Paclitaxel