Research Papers:

Antitumor efficacy of triple monoclonal antibody inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with MM151 in EGFR-dependent and in cetuximab-resistant human colorectal cancer cells

Stefania Napolitano, Giulia Martini, Erika Martinelli, Carminia Maria Della Corte, Floriana Morgillo, Valentina Belli, Claudia Cardone, Nunzia Matrone, Fortunato Ciardiello and Teresa Troiani _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:82773-82783. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19797

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Stefania Napolitano1, Giulia Martini1, Erika Martinelli1, Carminia Maria Della Corte1, Floriana Morgillo1, Valentina Belli1, Claudia Cardone1, Nunzia Matrone1, Fortunato Ciardiello1 and Teresa Troiani1

1Oncologia Medica, Dipartimento di Internistica Clinica e Sperimentale “F. Magrassi”, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 80131 Naples, Italy

Correspondence to:

Teresa Troiani, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MM151, cetuximab, acquired resistance, epidermal growth factor receptor, metastatic colorectal cancer

Received: April 13, 2017     Accepted: June 17, 2017     Published: August 02, 2017


Purpose: We investigated the effect of triple monoclonal antibody inhibition of EGFR to overcome acquired resistance to first generation of anti-EGFR inhibitors.

Experimental design: MM151 is a mixture of three different monoclonal IgG1 antibodies directed toward three different, non-overlapping, epitopes of the EGFR. We performed an in vivo study by using human CRC cell lines (SW48, LIM 1215 and CACO2) which are sensitive to EGFR inhibitors, in order to evaluate the activity of MM151 as compared to standard anti-EGFR mAbs, such as cetuximab, as single agent or in a sequential strategy of combination MM151 with irinotecan (induction therapy) followed by MM151 with a selective MEK1/2 inhibitor (MEKi) (maintenance therapy). Furthermore, the ability of MM151 to overcome acquired resistance to cetuximab has been also evaluated in cetuximab-refractory CRC models.

Results: MM151 shown stronger antitumor activity as compared to cetuximab. The maintenance treatment with MM151 plus MEKi resulted the most effective therapeutic modality. In fact, this combination caused an almost complete suppression of tumor growth in SW48, LIM 1215 and CACO2 xenografts model at 30 week. Moreover, in this treatment group, mice with no evidence of tumor were more than double as compared to single agent treated mice. Its superior activity has also been demonstrated, in cetuximab-refractory CRC models.

Conclusions: These results provide experimental evidence that more efficient and complete EGFR blockade may determine better antitumor activity and could contribute to prevent and/or overcome acquired resistance to EGFR inhibitors.

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