Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study combines lapatinib with cetuximab to overcome resistance in EGFR-driven tumors, new research suggests

Date:
May 16, 2012
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Targeted therapies have been studied for years, but recent laboratory research is providing robust clues about drugs that might work better in combination, particularly in treating cancers that have become resistant to therapy. That kind of information is behind a novel clinical trial that combines cetuximab and lapatinib.

Targeted therapies have been studied for years, but recent laboratory research is providing robust clues about drugs that might work better in combination, particularly in treating cancers that have become resistant to therapy. That kind of information is behind a novel clinical trial at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center that combines cetuximab and lapatinib. Findings from this phase I study will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, June 1st through 5th.

Cetuximab works by blocking the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) found on the outside of a cell. In cancers such as colon, head and neck, and lung, when cetuximab stops EGFR signaling, the machinery inside the cell doesn't get the signal to grow, in turn causing it to die. However, cancer cells can become resistant to cetuximab when the EGFR receptor combines with a related receptor HER2 (ErbB2) -- which cetuximab can't block. Once again, the cell gets the signal to grow. Lapatinib however blocks HER2 and EGFR from the inside of cancer cells.

"Cancer cells are good at developing ways around our treatments, including new targeted therapies such as cetuximab." says John Deeken, M.D., a medical oncologist at Georgetown Lombardi. "By combining different targeted therapies, we hope to be able to overcome such resistance and turn off the cancer cell signal to grow."

Deeken, an expert in how cells metabolize or process drugs, took the information learned from these recent pre-clinical studies and designed a novel clinical trial -- combining cetuximab, which blocks EGFR, with lapatinib which works inside the cell and shuts down HER2. GlaxoSmithKline provided lapatinib for the study and additional financial support for the study.

Cetuximab, marketed as Erbitux, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer. Lapatinib, marketed as Tykerb, is FDA-approved for the treatment of some types of breast cancer.

Sixteen patients whose tumors are driven by EGFR were enrolled in the study and received the established dose of cetuximab (intravenously once a week). Lapitinib, a drug taken orally on a daily basis, was given in escalating doses. Twelve of thirteen patients were evaluable for toxicities (side effects). The most common side effects of the combination were rash and diarrhea, both of which can be managed with supportive medications and care.

"While this study isn't designed to evaluate whether or not this combination of drugs works, we have seen some positive signs of clinical activity," Deeken says.

Of nine patients evaluable for response (completed at least two cycles of treatment), two had a partial response (more than 30 percent tumor shrinkage),and two had prolonged stable disease of 2 cycles or more, for a clinical benefit rate of 44 percent.

Phase II studies to test this combination in colon as well as head and neck cancer patients are under development, Deeken says.

In addition to Deeken, other investigators from the Lombardi Phase I/Developmental Therapeutics Program involved in the study include Hongkun Wang, Ph.D., Jimmy Hwang, M.D., John Marshall, M.D., Deepa Subramaniam, M.D., Aiwu Ruth He, M.D., Ph.D., Louis M. Weiner, M.D., Rosemarie Hardesty, R.N., Ken Steadman, Michael J. Pishvaian, M.D., Ph.D. None of the authors report personal financial interests related to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Study combines lapatinib with cetuximab to overcome resistance in EGFR-driven tumors, new research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516195548.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2012, May 16). Study combines lapatinib with cetuximab to overcome resistance in EGFR-driven tumors, new research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516195548.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Study combines lapatinib with cetuximab to overcome resistance in EGFR-driven tumors, new research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516195548.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins