Insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) and its ligands are overexpressed by tumors, mediating proliferation and protecting against stress-induced apoptosis. Accordingly, there has been a considerable amount of interest in developing therapeutic agents against IGF-IR. IGF-IR is believed to be ubiquitously expressed without detectable mutation or amplification in cancer. We explored the determinants of cellular response to a humanized anti-IGF-IR antibody. Our results showed a large variation in IGF-IR levels in rhabdomyosarcoma tumor specimens that were comparable with those in rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines. In vitro analysis revealed a direct and very significant correlation between elevated IGF-IR levels and antiproliferative effects of the antibody and defined a receptor number that would predict sensitivity. Our data further suggested a strong dependence on IGF-IR for AKT signaling in cells with elevated IGF-IR. The sensitivity of the high IGF-IR-expressing cells was blocked with a constitutively active AKT. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway was not affected by the antibody. In vivo studies showed that anti-IGF-IR had single-agent antitumor activity; furthermore, predictions of responses based on IGF-IR levels were accurate. In vivo biomarker analysis suggested that h7C10 down-regulated both IGF-IR and p-AKT initially, concordant with antitumor activity. Subsequent progression of tumors was associated with reactivation of p-AKT despite sustained suppression of IGF-IR. These results identified the first predictive biomarker for anti-IGF-IR therapies in cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research