Purpose: To investigate the effects of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) ZD1839 ('Iressa') on the cellular proliferation of androgen-sensitive and androgen-independent human prostatic cancer cell lines and primary cultures in vitro.
Experimental design: In this study, we investigated the effects of the quinazoline ZD1839, a potent, selective EGFR-TKI, on the EGFR autophosphorylation and cellular proliferation of androgen-sensitive (ND1, LNCaP, and ALVA-31) and androgen-independent (PC3, DU145, and TSU-Pr1) human prostatic cancer cell lines and 20 primary cultures derived from human prostatic cancer tissue.
Results: EGFR was present and phosphorylated in all cell lines tested. ZD1839 reduced EGFR autophosphorylation in intact cell lines with IC(50)s of 0.46-0.97 microM, and inhibited cellular proliferation with IC(50)s of 0.37-1.03 microM. Constitutive EGFR autophosphorylation was low in primary cell cultures, but addition of EGF (50 ng/ml) caused marked EGFR autophosphorylation; cellular proliferation in the presence of EGF was inhibited by ZD1839 with a mean IC(50) of 0.45 microM. At doses >1 microM, ZD1839 induced apoptosis in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent PCa cell lines. CONCLUSION. Our experiments suggest that EGFR-TKIs such as ZD1839 may have potential in blocking the growth and progression of human prostatic cancers even in early phases of the disease.