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1.  Severe Late Toxicities Following Concomitant Chemoradiotherapy Compared to Radiotherapy Alone in Cervical Cancer: An Inter-era Analysis 
Purpose
To compare rates of severe late toxicities following concomitant chemoradiotherapy and radiotherapy alone for cervical cancer.
Methods and Materials
Patients with cervical cancer were treated at a single institution with radiotherapy alone or concomitant chemoradiotherapy for curative intent. Severe late toxicity was defined as grade ≥3 vaginal, urologic, or gastrointestinal toxicity or any pelvic fracture, using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0 (CTCAE), occurring ≥6 months from treatment completion and predating any salvage therapy. Severe late toxicity rates were compared after adjusting for pertinent covariates.
Results
At 3 years, probability of vaginal severe late toxicity was 20.2% for radiotherapy alone and 35.1% for concomitant chemoradiotherapy (P=.026). At 3 years, probability of skeletal severe late toxicity was 1.6% for radiotherapy alone and 7.5% for concomitant chemoradiotherapy (P=.010). After adjustment for case mix, concomitant chemoradiotherapy was associated with higher vaginal (hazard ratio [HR] 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7–5.2, P<001), and skeletal (HR 7.0, 95% CI 1.4–34.1, P=.016) severe late toxicity. Compared to high dilator compliance, moderate (HR 3.6, 95% CI 2.0–6.5, P<.001) and poor (HR 8.5, 95% CI 4.3–16.9, P<.001) dilator compliance was associated with higher vaginal severe late toxicity. Age >50 was associated with higher vaginal (HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1–3.0, P=.013) and skeletal (HR 5.7, 95% CI 1.2–27.0, P=.028) severe late toxicity. Concomitant chemoradiotherapy was not associated with higher gastrointestinal (P=.886) or urologic (unadjusted, P=.053; adjusted, P=.063) severe late toxicity.
Conclusion
Compared to radiotherapy alone, concomitant chemoradiotherapy is associated with higher rates of severe vaginal and skeletal late toxicities. Other predictive factors include dilator compliance for severe vaginal late toxicity and age for severe vaginal and skeletal late toxicities.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.01.064
PMCID: PMC3706199  PMID: 22898381
Cervical cancer; Chemotherapy; Late toxicity; Radiotherapy; Vaginal stricture
2.  Erlotinib is a viable treatment for tumors with acquired resistance to cetuximab 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2011;12(5):436-446.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an ubiquitously expressed receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and is recognized as a key mediator of tumorigenesis in many human tumors. Currently there are five EGFR inhibitors used in oncology, two monoclonal antibodies (panitumumab and cetuximab) and three tyrosine kinase inhibitors (erlotinib, gefitinib and lapatinib). Both strategies of EGFR inhibition have demonstrated clinical success; however, many tumors remain non-responsive or acquire resistance during therapy. To explore potential molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to cetuximab we previously established a series of cetuximab-resistant clones by chronically exposing the NCI-H226 NSCLC cell line to escalating doses of cetuximab. Cetuximab-resistant clones exhibited a dramatic increase in the activation of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 receptors as well as increased signaling through the MAP K and AKT pathways. RNAi studies demonstrated dependence of cetuximab-resistant clones on the EGFR signaling network. These findings prompted investigation on whether or not cells with acquired resistance to cetuximab would be sensitive to the EGFR targeted TKI erlotinib. In vitro, erlotinib was able to decrease signaling through the EGFR axis, decrease cellular proliferation and induce apoptosis. To determine if erlotinib could have therapeutic benefit in vivo, we established cetuximab-resistant NCI-H226 mouse xenografts, and subsequently treated them with erlotinib. Mice harboring cetuximab-resistant tumors treated with erlotinib exhibited either a tumor regression or growth delay as compared with vehicle controls. Analysis of the erlotinib treated tumors demonstrated a decrease in cell proliferation and increased rates of apoptosis. The work presented herein suggests that (1) cells with acquired resistance to cetuximab maintain their dependence on EGFR and (2) tumors developing resistance to cetuximab can benefit from subsequent treatment with erlotinib, providing rationale for its use in the setting of cetuximab resistance.
doi:10.4161/cbt.12.5.16394
PMCID: PMC3219082  PMID: 21725209
EGFR; mABs; cetuximab resistance; TKI; erlotinib
3.  The Role of Src in Solid Tumors 
The Oncologist  2009;14(7):667-678.
The proto-oncogene c-Src (Src) is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase whose expression and activity is correlated with advanced malignancy and poor prognosis in a variety of human cancers. Nine additional enzymes with homology to Src have been identified and collectively are referred to as the Src family kinases (SFKs). Together, SFKs represent the largest family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases and interact directly with receptor tyrosine kinases, G-protein-coupled receptors, steroid receptors, signal transducers and activators of transcription and molecules involved in cell adhesion and migration. These interactions lead to a diverse array of biological functions including proliferation, cell growth, differentiation, cell shape, motility, migration, angiogenesis, and survival. Studies investigating mutational activation of Src in human cancers suggest this may be a rare event and wild-type Src is weakly oncogenic. Thus, the role of Src in the development and progression of human cancer has remained unclear. Recently, it has been suggested that increased SFK protein levels and, more importantly, SFK tyrosine kinase activity is linked to cancer progression and metastatic disease by facilitating the action of other signaling proteins. This accumulating body of evidence indicates that SFKs may represent a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of solid tumors. This review discusses the role of SFKs in solid tumors and the recent therapeutic advances aimed at targeting this family of tyrosine kinases in cancer.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2009-0009
PMCID: PMC3303596  PMID: 19581523
c-Src; solid tumors; Src family kinases; molecular inhibitors
4.  Dasatinib blocks cetuximab- and radiation-induced nuclear translocation of the epidermal growth factor receptor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma 
Background and Purpose
The aberrant expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been linked to the etiology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The first major phase III trial combining cetuximab with radiation confirmed a strong survival advantage. However, both cetuximab and radiation can promote EGFR translocation to the nucleus where it enhances resistance to both of these modalities. In this report we sought to determine how to block cetuximab and radiation–induced translocation of EGFR to the nucleus in HNSCC cell lines.
Material and Methods
We utilized three established HNSCC cell lines, SCC1, SCC6 and SCC1483 and measured nuclear translocation of EGFR after treatment with cetuximab or radiation. We then utilized dasatinib (BMS-354825), a potent, orally bioavailable inhibitor of several tyrosine kinases, including the Src Family Kinases, to determine if SFKs blockade could abrogate cetuximab and radiation-induced nuclear EGFR translocation.
Results
Cetuximab and radiation treatment of all three HNSCC lines lead to translocation of the EGFR to the nucleus. Blockade of SFKs abrogated cetuximab and radiation-induced EGFR translocation to the nucleus.
Conclusions
The data presented in this report suggests that both cetuximab and radiation can promote EGFR translocation to the nucleus and dasatinib can inhibit this process. Collectively these findings may suggest that dasatinib can limit EGFR translocation to the nucleus and may enhance radiotherapy plus cetuximab in HNSCC.
doi:10.1016/j.radonc.2010.06.010
PMCID: PMC2974772  PMID: 20667610
EGFR; cetuximab; radiation; Src family kinases; dasatinib; head and neck cancer
5.  Dasatinib sensitizes KRAS mutant colorectal tumors to cetuximab 
Oncogene  2010;30(5):561-574.
KRAS mutation is a predictive biomarker for resistance to cetuximab (Erbitux®) in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). This study sought to determine if KRAS mutant CRC lines could be sensitized to cetuximab using dasatinib (BMS-354825, sprycel®) a potent, orally bioavailable inhibitor of several tyrosine kinases, including the Src Family Kinases. We analyzed 16 CRC lines for: 1) KRAS mutation status, 2) dependence on mutant KRAS signaling, 3) expression level of EGFR and SFKs. From these analyses, we selected three KRAS mutant (LS180, LoVo, and HCT116) cell lines, and two KRAS wild type cell lines (SW48 and CaCo2). In vitro, using Poly-D-Lysine/laminin plates, KRAS mutant cell lines were resistant to cetuximab whereas parental controls showed sensitivity to cetuximab. Treatment with cetuximab and dasatinib showed a greater anti-proliferative effect on KRAS mutant line as compared to either agent alone both in vitro and in vivo. To investigate potential mechanisms for this anti-proliferative response in the combinatorial therapy we performed Human Phospho-kinase Antibody Array analysis measuring the relative phosphorylation levels of phosphorylation of 39 intracellular proteins in untreated, cetuximab, dasatinib or the combinatorial treatment in LS180, LoVo and HCT116 cells. The results of this experiment showed a decrease in a broad spectrum of kinases centered on the β-catenin pathway, the classical MAPK pathway, AKT/mTOR pathway and the family of STAT transcription factors when compared to the untreated control or monotherapy treatments. Next we analyzed tumor growth with cetuximab, dasatinib or the combination in vivo. KRAS mutant xenografts showed resistance to cetuximab therapy, whereas KRAS wild type demonstrated an anti-tumor response when treated with cetuximab. KRAS mutant tumors exhibited minimal response to dasatinib monotherapy. However, as in vitro, KRAS mutant lines exhibited a response to the combination of cetuximab and dasatinib. Combinatorial treatment of KRAS mutant xenografts resulted in decreased cell proliferation as measured by Ki67 and higher rates of apoptosis as measured by TUNEL. The data presented herein indicate that dasatinib can sensitize KRAS mutant CRC tumors to cetuximab and may do so by altering the activity of several key-signaling pathways. Further, these results suggest that signaling via the EGFR and SFKs may be necessary for cell proliferation and survival of KRAS mutant CRC tumors. This data strengthen the rationale for clinical trials in this genetic setting combining cetuximab and dasatinib.
doi:10.1038/onc.2010.430
PMCID: PMC3025039  PMID: 20956938
Cetuximab; resistance; KRAS mutation; dasatinib; EGFR; SRC; colorectal cancer
6.  Understanding resistance to EGFR inhibitors—impact on future treatment strategies 
EGFR is a tyrosine kinase that participates in the regulation of cellular homeostasis. Following ligand binding, EGFR stimulates downstream cell signaling cascades that influence cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, survival and complex processes, including angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. EGFR has been strongly implicated in the biology of human epithelial malignancies, with therapeutic applications in cancers of the colon, head and neck, lung, and pancreas. Accordingly, targeting EGFR has been intensely pursued, with the development of a series of promising molecular inhibitors for use in clinical oncology. As is common in cancer therapy, challenges with respect to treatment resistance emerge over time. This situation is certainly true of EGFR inhibitor therapies, where intrinsic and acquired resistance is now well recognized. In this Review, we provide a brief overview regarding the biology of EGFR biology, preclinical and clinical development of EGFR inhibitors, and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of treatment resistance. A greater understanding of the mechanisms that lead to EGFR resistance may provide valuable insights to help design new strategies that will enhance the impact of this promising class of inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.
doi:10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.97
PMCID: PMC2929287  PMID: 20551942
7.  Nuclear EGFR Contributes to Acquired Resistance to Cetuximab 
Oncogene  2009;28(43):3801-3813.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a ubiquitously expressed receptor tyrosine kinase involved in the etiology of several human cancers. Cetuximab is an EGFR blocking-antibody that has been approved for the treatment of patients with cancers of the head and neck (HNSCC) and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Previous reports have shown that EGFR translocation to the nucleus is associated with cell proliferation. Here we investigated mechanisms of acquired resistance to cetuximab using a model derived from the non-small cell lung cancer line H226. We demonstrated that cetuximab-resistant cells overexpress HER family ligands including epidermal growth factor (EGF), amphiregulin (AR), heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF) and β-cellulin. Overexpression of these ligands is associated with the nuclear translocation of the EGFR and this process was mediated by the Src family kinases (SFK). Treatment of cetuximab-resistant cells with the SFK inhibitor, dasatinib, resulted in loss of nuclear EGFR, increased membrane expression of the EGFR and re-sensitization to cetuximab. In addition, expression of a nuclear localization sequence tagged EGFR in cetuximab-sensitive cells increased resistance to cetuximab both in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Collectively, these data suggest that nuclear expression of EGFR may be an important molecular determinant of resistance to cetuximab therapy and provides a rationale for investigating nuclear EGFR as a biomarker for cetuximab response. Further, these data suggest a rationale for the design of clinical trials that examine the value of treating patients with cetuximab-resistant tumors with inhibitors of SFKs in combination with cetuximab.
doi:10.1038/onc.2009.234
PMCID: PMC2900381  PMID: 19684613
EGFR; nuclear; cetuximab; resistance; Src-family kinases; dasatinib
8.  Epidermal growth factor receptor cooperates with Src family kinases in acquired resistance to cetuximab 
Cancer biology & therapy  2009;8(8):696-703.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a major role in oncogenesis. Cetuximab is an EGFR-blocking antibody that is FDA approved for use in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Although cetuximab has shown strong clinical benefit for a subset of cancer patients, most become refractory to cetuximab therapy. We reported that cetuximab-resistant NSCLC line NCI-H226 cells have increased steady-state expression and activity of EGFR secondary to altered trafficking/degradation and this increase in EGFR expression and activity lead to hyper-activation of HER3 and down stream signals to survival. We now present data that Src family kinases (SFKs) are highly activated in cetuximab-resistant cells and enhance EGFR activation of HER3 and PI(3)K/Akt. Studies using the Src kinase inhibitor dasatinib decreased HER3 and PI(3)K/Akt activity. In addition, cetuximab-resistant cells were resensitized to cetuximab when treated with dasatinib. These results indicate that SFKs and EGFR cooperate in acquired resistance to cetuximab and suggest a rationale for clinical strategies that investigate combinatorial therapy directed at both the EGFR and SFKs in patients with acquired resistance to cetuximab.
PMCID: PMC2895567  PMID: 19276677
EGFR; cetuximab; resistance; Src-family kinases; dasatinib

Results 1-8 (8)