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Clinical Cancer Research

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 4058 - 4065

Anti-EMMPRIN Monoclonal Antibody as a Novel Agent for Therapy of Head and Neck Cancer

N. R Dean, J. R Newman, E. E Helman, W Zhang, S Safavy, D.M Weeks, M Cunningham, L. A Snyder, Y Tang, L Yan, L. R McNally, D. J Buchsbaum and E. L. Rosenthal

Abstract

Purpose: Extracellular matrix metalloprotease inducer (EMMPRIN) is a tumor surface protein that promotes growth and is overexpressed in head and neck cancer. These features make it a potential therapeutic target for monoclonal antibody (mAb)–based therapy. Because molecular therapy is considered more effective when delivered with conventional cytotoxic agents, anti-EMMPRIN therapy was assessed alone and in combination with external beam radiation.

Experimental Design: Using a murine flank model, loss of EMMPRIN function was achieved by transfection with a small interfering RNA against EMMPRIN or treatment with a chimeric anti-EMMPRIN blocking mAb. Cytokine expression was assessed for xenografts, tumor cells, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells.

Results: Animals treated with anti-EMMPRIN mAb had delayed tumor growth compared with untreated controls, whereas treatment with combination radiation and anti-EMMPRIN mAb showed the greatest reduction in tumor growth (P = 0.001). Radiation-treated EMMPRIN knockdown xenografts showed a reduction in tumor growth compared with untreated knockdown controls (P = 0.01), whereas radiation-treated EMMPRIN–expressing xenografts did not show a delay in tumor growth. Immunohistochemical evaluation for Ki67 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) resulted in a reduction in proliferation (P = 0.007) and increased apoptosis in anti-EMMPRIN mAb–treated xenografts compared with untreated controls (P = 0.087). In addition, we provide evidence that EMMPRIN suppression results in decreased interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-8 cytokine production, in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: These data suggest that anti-EMMPRIN antibody inhibits tumor cell proliferation in vivo and may represent a novel targeted treatment option in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

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