Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.488, No.4, 596-602, 2017
Trastuzumab emtansine suppresses the growth of HER2-positive small-cell lung cancer in preclinical models
Overcoming chemoresistance is essential for achieving better prognoses in SCLC. Previously, we reported that HER2 is upregulated when HER2-positive SCLC cells acquire chemoresistance. HER2-upregulated cisplatin- or etoposide-resistant SCLC cells were sensitive to trastuzumab-mediated ADCC. However, irinotecan-resistant SCLC cells, such as SBC-3/SN-38, were refractory to trastuzumab despite high HER2 expression. To address this issue, we examined the antitumor efficacy of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) on trastuzumab-resistant HER2-positive SCLC. Treatment with T-DM1 significantly suppressed the growth of SBC-3/SN-38 xenografts in mice compared with trastuzumab (P < 0.05). Histological analysis of xenografts was performed to evaluate the therapeutic effect on apoptosis, proliferation and tumor vasculature. T-DM1 monotherapy induced apoptosis in SBC-3/SN-38 xenografts to a greater extent than trastuzumab monotherapy with the apoptotic index of 3.71 +/- 1.56% vs. 0.60 +/- 0.32% (P < 0.05), and also inhibited the proliferation of tumor cells compared with trastuzumab with the proliferative index of 74.30 +/- 5.54% vs. 80.12 +/- 4.81% (P < 0.05). On the other hand, no significant difference in micro vessel density was observed between the treatment groups. In vivo imaging using fluorescence-labeled T-DM1 showed that intravenously administered T-DM1 was rapidly delivered to xenografts and continued to accumulate for several days in a HER2-selective fashion. From these findings, delivery of the cytotoxic agent DM1 into cells via HER2-mediated internalization is expected to exert antitumor effect in such ADCC-lacking SCLC cells. Collectively, T-DM1 will be a promising option for overcoming trastuzumab-resistance in HER2-upregulated SCLC. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.