Purpose: The epidermal growth factor receptor (ERBB1) and related family member HER-2/neu (ERBB2) are often overexpressed in aggressive breast cancers and their overexpression is correlated with poor prognosis. Clinical studies using ERBB inhibitors have focused on tumor growth effects, but ERBBs can contribute to malignancy independent of their effects on tumor growth. Our studies were designed to evaluate the effect of ERBB inhibition on tumor cell motility and intravasation in vivo using clinically relevant small-molecule inhibitors. Experimental Design: Using in vivo mouse models of breast cancer, we test the effects of ERBB1 and ERBB2 inhibitors AC480 and lapatinib, ERBB1 inhibitor gefitinib, and ERBB2 inhibitor AG825 on in vivo tumor cell invasive properties in mammary fat pad tumors. Results: ERBB1 and ERBB2 inhibition rapidly (within 3 h) inhibits both tumor cell motility and intravasation. Using gefitinib, ERBB1 inhibition rapidly inhibits tumor cell motility and invasion but not intravasation, whereas ERBB2 inhibition by AG825 rapidly blocks intravasation. Conclusions: ERBB1 and ERBB2 inhibition can rapidly block tumor cell invasive properties. In addition, we differentiate for the first time the contributions of ERBB1 and ERBB2 to the key metastatic properties of in vivo tumor cell invasion and intravasation. These experiments temporally and molecularly separate two key stages in tumor cell entry into blood vessels: invasion and intravasation. These results indicate that ERBB inhibition should be considered for blocking other tumor cell malignant properties besides growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research