Preclinical development of anti-cancer strategies against human HER-2

Dall'Ora, Massimiliano (2015) Preclinical development of anti-cancer strategies against human HER-2, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6867.
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HER-2 is a 185 kDa transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase that belongs to the EGFR family. HER-2 is overexpressed in nearly 25% of human breast cancers and women with this subtype of breast cancer have a worse prognosis and frequently develop metastases. The progressive high number of HER-2-positive breast cancer patients with metastatic spread in the brain (up to half of women) has been attributed to the reduction in mortality, the effectiveness of Trastuzumab in killing metastatic cells in other organs and to its incapability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Apart from full-length-HER-2, a splice variant of HER-2 lacking exon 16 (here referred to as D16) was identified in human HER-2-positive breast cancers. Here, the contribution of HER-2 and D16 to mammary carcinogenesis was investigated in a model transgenic for both genes (F1 model). A dominant role of D16, especially in early stages of tumorigenesis, was suggested and the coexistence of heterogeneous levels of HER-2 and D16 in F1 tumors revealed the undeniable value of F1 strain as preclinical model of HER-2-positive breast cancer, closer resembling the human situation in respect to previous models. The therapeutical efficacy of anti-HER-2 agents, targeting HER-2 receptor (Trastuzumab, Lapatinib, R-LM249) or signaling effectors (Dasatinib, UO126, NVP-BKM120), was investigated in models of local or advanced HER-2-positive breast cancer. In contrast with early studies, data herein collected suggested that the presence of D16 can predict a better response to Trastuzumab and other agents targeting HER-2 receptor or Src activity. Using a multiorgan HER-2-positive metastatic model, the efficacy of NVP-BKM120 (PI3K inhibitor) in blocking the growth of brain metastases and the oncolytic ability of R-LM249 (HER-2-retargeted HSV) to reach and destroy metastatic HER-2-positive cancer cells were shown. Finally, exploiting the definition of “oncoantigen” given to HER-2, the immunopreventive activity of two vaccines on HER-2-positive mammary tumorigenesis was demonstrated.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Dall'Ora, Massimiliano
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
HER-2, breast cancer, metastasis, PI3K inhibitor, MEK inhibitor, Src inhibitor, trastuzumab, lapatinib, HER-2-retargeted HSV, breast cancer therapy, oncoantigens, mouse models, immunodeficient mice, tumor immunoprevention, DNA vaccine, whole-cell vaccine.
Data di discussione
11 Maggio 2015

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