Kinetics of monoclonal anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibody (IOR EGF/R3)-induced apoptosis in human carcinoma bearing nude mice

Jorge Ducongé, Nelson Merino, Dalia Alvarez, Irene Beausileil, Eduardo Fernández-Sanchez, Leyanis Rodríguez, Alastair D. Burt


Apoptosis seems to play an important role in cancer immunotherapy outcome. We have studied the kinetic pattern of apoptosis induction in H125 human lung carcinoma xenografts after treatment with the monoclonal antibody (MAb) anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) IOR EGF/r3. Tumor-bearing nude mice were injected intravenously with a single 8 mg/kg dose of IOR EGF/r3 and tumor specimens were taken up to 30 days post treatment. Apoptosis was measured by morphometric analysis of the histological sections at each tumor specimen over time points. The results showed a significant apoptotic response in tumors within six days after injection of this MAb reaching a peak at 20 days post treatment. The kinetics were very broad, with apoptotic cells present over the entire time-frame. However, the time course of the apoptotic index showed a significant difference to the mitotic index. Finally, the MAb-induced apoptosis was related to tumor growth delay indicating a probable arrest of cell cycle and a corresponding inhibition of tumor progression, which was corroborated by the Ki67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) biomarkers.


Immunotherapy; Tumor xenograft; Apoptosis; Tumor growth delay

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