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Keywords:

  • epidermal growth factor receptor;
  • K-Ras;
  • insulinlike growth factor 1 receptor;
  • lung cancer;
  • tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have responded poorly to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). The authors investigated the involvement of insulinlike growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling in primary resistance to EGFR TKIs and the molecular determinants of resistance to IGF-1R TKIs.

METHODS:

Phosphorylated IGF-1R/insulin receptor (pIGF-1R/IR) was immunohistochemically evaluated in an NSCLC tissue microarray. The authors analyzed the antitumor effects of an IGF-1R TKI (PQIP or OSI-906), either alone or in combination with a small-molecular inhibitor (PD98059 or U0126) or with siRNA targeting K-Ras or mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK), in vitro and in vivo in NSCLC cells with variable histologic features and EGFR or K-Ras mutations.

RESULTS:

pIGF-1R/IR expression in NSCLC specimens was associated with a history of tobacco smoking, squamous cell carcinoma histology, mutant K-Ras, and wild-type (WT) EGFR, all of which have been strongly associated with poor response to EGFR TKIs. IGF-1R TKIs exhibited significant antitumor activity in NSCLC cells with WT EGFR and WT K-Ras but not in those with mutations in these genes. Introduction of mutant K-Ras attenuated the effects of IGF-1R TKIs on NSCLC cells expressing WT K-Ras. Conversely, inactivation of MEK restored sensitivity to IGF-TKIs in cells carrying mutant K-Ras.

CONCLUSIONS:

The mutation status of both EGFR and K-Ras could be a predictive marker of response to IGF-1R TKIs. Also, MEK antagonism can abrogate primary resistance of NSCLC cells to IGF-1R TKIs. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.