Addiction to elevated insulin-like growth factor I receptor and initial modulation of the AKT pathway define the responsiveness of rhabdomyosarcoma to the targeting antibody

Liang Cao, Yunkai Yu, Isaac Darko, Duane Currier, Linnia H. Mayeenuddin, Xiaolin Wan, Chand Khanna, Lee J. Helman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8039-8048
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Volume68
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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