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      Expression of Tyrosine Kinase Receptors in Malignant Midgut Carcinoid Tumors

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          Background: The expression of certain tyrosine kinase receptors (TKR) has been shown to have a prognostic value in many tumor entities. In recent years, inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies directed towards these receptors have been developed. Several have shown antitumoral effects and have been tested in clinical trials. We wanted to investigate whether midgut carcinoid tumors express TKR and therefore would be suitable for clinical trials with TKR inhibitors (TKRI) or monoclonal antibodies. Material and Methods: Tumor tissue from 36 patients (24 women and 12 men) with a malignant midgut carcinoid tumor was obtained. The tissues were examined with immunohistochemistry, using polyclonal antibodies against platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α (PDGFRα), platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFRβ), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and c-kit. Human BON1 cells were cultivated and stimulated with PDGF-BB. We also present a case report of a patient with a malignant midgut carcinoid tumor who had stabilization of tumor growth during treatment with imatinib. Results: Immunohistochemical staining for PDGFRα in tumor cells showed immunoreaction for the receptor in 13/34 (38%) for PDGFRβ in 29/33 (88%), and 24/33 (73%) were immunoreactive for EGFR. No tumor tissue showed immunoreaction for c-kit. In tumor stroma PDGFRα was expressed in 35%, PDGFRβ in 94% and EGFR in 9%. We show that human neuroendocrine tumor cells respond to PDGF, indicating that these tumors express functional PDGF receptors. Conclusion: Malignant midgut carcinoid tumors may express three of the four TKR tested in this investigation. Therefore, these tumors might be susceptible for treatment with TKRI or monoclonal antibodies and this should be further explored in clinical trials.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Multi-institutional randomized phase II trial of gefitinib for previously treated patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (The IDEAL 1 Trial) [corrected].

          To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of two doses of gefitinib (Iressa [ZD1839]; AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE), a novel epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with pretreated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This was a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, multicenter phase II trial. Two hundred ten patients with advanced NSCLC who were previously treated with one or two chemotherapy regimens (at least one containing platinum) were randomly assigned to receive either 250-mg or 500-mg oral doses of gefitinib once daily. Efficacy was similar for the 250- and 500-mg/d groups. Objective tumor response rates were 18.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.5 to 27.3) and 19.0% (95% CI, 12.1 to 27.9); among evaluable patients, symptom improvement rates were 40.3% (95% CI, 28.5 to 53.0) and 37.0% (95% CI, 26.0 to 49.1); median progression-free survival times were 2.7 and 2.8 months; and median overall survival times were 7.6 and 8.0 months, respectively. Symptom improvements were recorded for 69.2% (250 mg/d) and 85.7% (500 mg/d) of patients with a tumor response. Adverse events (AEs) at both dose levels were generally mild (grade 1 or 2) and consisted mainly of skin reactions and diarrhea. Drug-related toxicities were more frequent in the higher-dose group. Withdrawal due to drug-related AEs was 1.9% and 9.4% for patients receiving gefitinib 250 and 500 mg/d, respectively. Gefitinib showed clinically meaningful antitumor activity and provided symptom relief as second- and third-line treatment in these patients. At 250 mg/d, gefitinib had a favorable AE profile. Gefitinib 250 mg/d is an important, novel treatment option for patients with pretreated advanced NSCLC [corrected]
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            Multicenter phase II study of erlotinib, an oral epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck.

            To determine the efficacy and safety profiles of erlotinib in patients with advanced recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (HNSCC). Patients with locally recurrent and/or metastatic HNSCC, regardless of their HER1/EGFR status, were treated with erlotinib at an initial dose of 150 mg daily. Dose reductions or escalations were allowed based on tolerability of erlotinib. One-hundred fifteen patients were enrolled onto this study. Forty-seven percent of patients received erlotinib at 150 mg daily throughout the entire study, 6% had dose escalations, and 46% required dose reductions and/or interruptions. Five patients achieved partial responses on study, for an overall objective response rate of 4.3% (95% CI, 1.4% to 9.9%). Disease stabilization was maintained in 44 patients (38.3%) for a median duration of 16.1 weeks. The median progression-free survival was 9.6 weeks (95% CI, 8.1 to 12.1 weeks), and the median overall survival was 6.0 months (95% CI, 4.8 to 7.0 months). Subgroup analyses revealed a significant difference in overall survival favoring patients who developed at least grade 2 skin rashes versus those who did not (P =.045), whereas no difference was detected based on HER1/EGFR expression. Rash and diarrhea were the most common drug-related toxicities, encountered in 79% and 37% of patients, respectively, though the severity was mild to moderate in most cases. Erlotinib was well tolerated in this heavily pretreated HNSCC population and produced prolonged disease stabilization; hence, further evaluation of its role in this tumor type is warranted.
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              Phase II study of Erlotinib (OSI-774) in patients with advanced hepatocellular cancer.

              Epidermal growth factor receptor/human epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR/HER1) and ligand expression is frequently seen in hepatocellular cancers (HCCs). Erlotinib (Tarceva, OSI-774; OSI Pharmaceuticals, Melville, NY) is a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with specificity for the EGFR/HER1. The primary objective of this study was to determine the proportion of patients with advanced HCC who were progression-free at 6 months. Patients with either unresectable or metastatic disease were studied. Only one prior systemic or locoregional therapy was allowed. Erlotinib was given continuously at a dose of 150 mg per day orally. Thirty-eight patients with HCC were enrolled. Median age of the patients was 69 years (range, 27 to 83 years). A majority of patients (63%) had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1. Forty-seven percent of patients had received prior chemotherapy for advanced HCC. EGFR/HER1 expression was detected in 88% of the patients. Median number of cycles per patient was two (range, 1 to 26). Twelve (32%; CI 95%, 18 to 49) of the 38 patients with HCC were progression-free at 6 months. Three patients had partial radiologic responses of duration of 2, 10, and 11 months, respectively. Disease control was seen in 59% of the patients. Median overall survival time was 13 months. Ten patients (26%) had toxicity-related dose reductions of erlotinib. Grade 3/4 skin toxicity or diarrhea was encountered in five and three patients, respectively. Results of this trial suggest a benefit for EGFR/HER1 blockade with erlotinib in patients with HCC manifested by disease control. Additional studies with erlotinib as a single agent or in combination with other agents are warranted.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                December 2006
                11 December 2006
                : 84
                : 1
                : 42-48
                aDepartment of Medical Sciences, Unit of Endocrine Oncology, and bDepartment of Oncology, Radiology and Clinical Immunology, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
                96294 Neuroendocrinology 2006;84:42–48
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 23, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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