A new approach that may offer treatment options for pancreatic cancer has been suggested by researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
It is already known that overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR can result in cancer and targeting EGFR pathway as a potential therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer has been developed.
Erlotinib is a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that efficiently blocks EGFR.
The study showed significant improvement in survival with the addition of erlotinib.
The research team from Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated First People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China studied the effects of erlotinib on six different pancreatic cancer cell lines.
The researchers revealed the efficacy of erlotinib, as a single agent, on pancreatic cancer cells growth in vitro, and in vivo study using a nude mice xenograft model and the mechanisms involved were also explored.
They found that Erlotinib repressed BxPC-3 cell growth in a dose-dependent manner, triggered G1 arrest and induced cell death, and suppressed capillary formation of endothelium in vitro.
In vivo, erlotinib treated mice demonstrated a reduced tumour volume and weight as compared with control.
These findings provide evidence for the inhibitive activity of erlotinib in pancreatic cancer cells. Inhibition of EGFR may be a promising adjuvant in chemotherapeutic strategy in the treatment of the dreary disease.
The study was published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.