Chemoprevention of head and neck cancer by simultaneous blocking of epidermal growth factor receptor and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathways: preclinical and clinical studies

Shin DM, Zhang H, Saba NF, Chen AY, Nannapaneni S, Amin AR, Müller S, Lewis M, Sica G, Kono S, Brandes JC, Grist WJ, Moreno-Williams R, Beitler JJ, Thomas SM, Chen Z, Shin HJ, Grandis JR, Khuri FR, Chen ZG
Source: Clin Cancer Res
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 19(5): 1244-56
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, umbilical vein, human (HUVEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: vein
PURPOSE: We investigated the efficacy and underlying molecular mechanism of a novel chemopreventive strategy combining EGF receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor (COX-2I). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined the inhibition of tumor cell growth by combined EGFR-TKI (erlotinib) and COX-2I (celecoxib) treatment using head and neck cancer cell lines and a preventive xenograft model. We studied the antiangiogenic activity of these agents and examined the affected signaling pathways by immunoblotting analysis in tumor cell lysates and immunohistochemistry (IHC) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) analyses on the mouse xenograft tissues and blood, respectively. Biomarkers in these signaling pathways were studied by IHC, EIA, and an antibody array analysis in samples collected from participants in a phase I chemoprevention trial of erlotinib and celecoxib. RESULTS: The combined treatment inhibited head and neck cancer cell growth significantly more potently than either single agent alone in cell line and xenograft models, and resulted in greater inhibition of cell-cycle progression at G1 phase than either single drug. The combined treatment modulated the EGFR and mTOR signaling pathways. A phase I chemoprevention trial of combined erlotinib and celecoxib revealed an overall pathologic response rate of 71% at time of data analysis. Analysis of tissue samples from participants consistently showed downregulation of EGFR, pERK, and pS6 levels after treatment, which correlated with clinical response. CONCLUSION: Treatment with erlotinib combined with celecoxib offers an effective chemopreventive approach through inhibition of EGFR and mTOR pathways, which may serve as potential biomarkers to monitor the intervention of this combination in the clinic. Clin Cancer Res; 19(5); 1244-56.