Trastuzumab inhibits the growth of human gastric cancer cell lines with HER2 amplification synergistically with cisplatin

Int J Oncol. 2008 Jan;32(1):89-95.


HER2 has been found to be amplified in 10-20% of gastric cancers, and is correlated with poor outcome. The aims of this study were to recognize HER2 amplification in gastric cancer cell lines via fluorescence in situ hybridization and to evaluate the growth inhibitory effect of trastuzumab in HER2-amplified cell lines. To elucidate the mechanism of the growth inhibition, we performed cell cycle analysis and immunoblotting of downstream molecules. We also conducted drug interaction studies of trastuzumab with other chemotherapeutic agents. HER2 amplification was newly identified only in SNU-216 cells, and trastuzumab moderately inhibited the growth of SNU-216 cells and positive controls. Trastuzumab-mediated G1 arrest occurred with increased expression of p27(KIP1) and decreased cyclins. Phosphorylation of HER2 and downstream molecules, STAT3, AKT, and ERK, was also inhibited by trastuzumab. Treatment of SNU-216 cells with trastuzumab plus cisplatin resulted in a synergistic inhibitory effect, whereas treatment of SNU-216 cells with trastuzumab plus 5-FU, or trastuzumab plus oxaliplatin produced an additive effect. These results suggest that trastuzumab combined with chemotherapeutic agents can be active against gastric cancer with HER2 amplification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, erbB-2*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Trastuzumab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Trastuzumab
  • Cisplatin