Combinatorial effects of lapatinib and rapamycin in triple-negative breast cancer cells

Tongrui Liu, Rami Yacoub, LaTonia D Taliaferro-Smith, Shi-Yong Sun, Tisheeka R Graham, Ryan Dolan, Christine Lobo, Mourad Tighiouart, Lily Yang, Amy Adams, Ruth M O'Regan
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2011, 10 (8): 1460-9
Triple-negative breast cancers, which lack estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2/neu overexpression, account for approximately 15% of breast cancers, but occur more commonly in African Americans. The poor survival outcomes seen with triple-negative breast cancers patients are, in part, due to a lack of therapeutic targets. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in 50% of triple-negative breast cancers, but EGFR inhibitors have not been effective in patients with metastatic breast cancers. However, mTOR inhibition has been shown to reverse resistance to EGFR inhibitors. We examined the combination effects of mTOR inhibition with EGFR inhibition in triple-negative breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. The combination of EGFR inhibition by using lapatinib and mTOR inhibition with rapamycin resulted in significantly greater cytotoxicity than the single agents alone and these effects were synergistic in vitro. The combination of rapamycin and lapatinib significantly decreased growth of triple-negative breast cancers in vivo compared with either agent alone. EGFR inhibition abrogated the expression of rapamycin-induced activated Akt in triple-negative breast cancer cells in vitro. The combination of EGFR and mTOR inhibition resulted in increased apoptosis in some, but not all, triple-negative cell lines, and these apoptotic effects correlated with a decrease in activated eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF4E). These results suggest that mTOR inhibitors could sensitize a subset of triple-negative breast cancers to EGFR inhibitors. Given the paucity of effective targeted agents in triple-negative breast cancers, these results warrant further evaluation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"