Autophagic activation with Nimotuzumab enhances chemo-radiosensitivity

May 13, 2014

A study which will be published in the May 2014 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine was aimed at determining whether an EGFR-targeted therapy combined with chemo-radiotherapy can improve local tumor control effectively, compared to cytotoxic agents or irradiation alone. Dr. Haizhu Song and co-workers from Jinling Hospital and the Medical School of Nanjing University in China demonstrated that nimotuzumab could enhance chemo-radiosensitivity by promoting autophagic cell death in esophageal squamous carcinoma (ESCC) cells.

Nimotuzumab is a humanized anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody that inhibits EGF-stimulated receptor autophosphorylation and downstream signaling pathways. The majority of prior investigations have focused on the therapeutic effects of nimotuzumab on cancer cells including cell cycle arrest and the induction of apoptotic cell death. Dr. Chen's laboratory detected the autophagic activity of ESCC cells following a combination of nimotuzumab with paclitaxel, cis-platinum or external beam radiation. These results showed that autophagic activation by nimotuzumab facilitated the antitumor effects of and irradiation in ESCC cells with high expression of EGFR. Therefore, nimotuzumab-combined therapy might be more beneficial for treating ESCC patients with a high level of EGFR expression and activation of autophagy; as part of a combined therapy or as an alternative approach to kill more efficiently.

"We hope that our study will be meaningful in gaining a mechanistic understanding of nimotuzumab-combined therapy and provide a potential strategy for improving therapeutic efficacy in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma," said Dr. Longbang Chen, corresponding author.

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine said "Song and colleagues provide evidence, worth pursuing, that activation of autophagy by nimotuzumab may provide increased chemosensitivity and radiosensivity in ESCC".

Explore further: New discovery of biomarker to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Related Stories

New discovery of biomarker to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

January 6, 2014
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the major histological form of esophageal cancer, is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a biomarker, ...

Scientists report new findings on mutations identification of esophageal cancer

March 18, 2014
In a collaborative study, researchers from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, BGI, Shantou University Medical College and other institutions identified important alterations of tumor-associated ...

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.