Anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies (MAs) are concieved to block EGFR cascade responsible for cell proliferation as well as apoptosis inhibition, dedifferentiation, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. Soluble EGFR (sEGFR) retains the ability to bind with the ligand which leads to inhibition of this one and reduction of tyrosine kinase activity. The purpose of the research was to study the EGF/sEGFR ratio in tumor tissue and blood of patients with HNC depending on tumor response to the therapy with anti-EGFR MA- Сetuximab (C).
Levels of EGF and sEGFR and their ratio were studied by ELISA in tumor tissue and blood of 30 patients with HNC squamous cell carcinoma. C- 400 mg/m2 was administered on day 1 and 250 mg/m2 weekly, combined with cisplatin 100mg/m2 on day 1, fluorouracil 100mg/m2 - 96-hour continuous iv infusion q3w. The blood of 20 healthy donors was used as the control.
EGF/sEGFR ratio in the blood of pts before the treatment was various and influenced on the tumor response: in 17 pts with complete and partial response (CR + PR) it was 30% lower than in 13 patients with stabilization (S) and progression (P). Compared to the donors, the ratio was 12.6 and 16 times higher in pts with CR + PR and S + P correspondingly. After the therapy EGF/sEGFR was 2.5 times lower in pts with CR + PR than in pts with S + P but exceeded the normal level by 4.6 times. The ratio was still 11.5 times higher in pts with S + P than in the donors. The data aquired from the tumor tissue were similar: EGF/sEGFR level in pts with CR + PR was 2.8 times lower than in those with S + P.
EGF/sEGFR ratio is supposed to be a specific biological index for the EGFR cascade in the tumor tissue and in the blood and reflects the tumor response for anti-EGFR MA- С et in pts with HNC.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Rostov Research Institute of Oncology
Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.