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|Title: ||Biomarker and Therapeutic Studies of Antibodies and Small Molecules that Target EGFR|
|Authors: ||Mutsaers, Anthony James|
|Advisor: ||Kerbel, Robert S.|
|Department: ||Medical Biophysics|
|Issue Date: ||17-Feb-2011|
|Abstract: ||The field of targeted cancer therapy has progressed in recent years with the approval of new oncology drugs. Coupled with the benefits that these agents provide, has come an appreciation for challenges that occur when attempting to translate successful experiments from the laboratory into effective clinical trials. One such challenge has been predicting the optimal dose and schedule to take into clinical evaluation, given the possibility that certain targeted therapeutics may exhibit maximal anti-tumour efficacy well below maximum tolerated doses. Recent work with a targeted antibody to the mouse vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 demonstrated that detection of increased levels of its endogenous ligand in the plasma, namely VEGF, could address this issue, as maximal increases in VEGF paralleled optimal drug activity. The VEGF result has become recognized as a potential class effect for this family of inhibitors. This thesis summarizes experiments designed to build upon this discovery by investigating whether the utility of ligand measurement might also apply to drugs that inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which have also received recent regulatory approval, and inhibit angiogenesis as one of their mechanisms of action. In addition, we investigated the potential application of EGFR inhibitors to influence other markers of tumour angiogenesis, specifically their effects on levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs). Finally, we evaluated combination treatment of EGFR inhibition with anti-angiogenic scheduling of chemotherapy.
The EGFR ligand TGF-alpha increased in a dose dependent fashion following treatment with cetuximab, and levels in the circulation paralleled anti-tumour activity. This was a host-dependent effect that was not observed with the lower affinity antibody nimotuzumab. Inhibition of host EGFR also reduced plasma CEPs, but at higher doses these drugs increased off target growth factors VEGF and G-CSF, as well as CEPs. In a model of advanced triple negative breast cancer, the combination of nimotuzumab and metronomic cyclophosphamide was efficacious and well tolerated, leading to a potential new treatment strategy for this aggressive disease. Taken together, these studies identify new and useful applications for EGFR-targeted antibodies, and shed further light on their contributions within the field of tumour angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapy.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
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