Gastric cancer : official journal of the International Gastric Cancer Association and the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association

Lapatinib sensitivities of two novel trastuzumab-resistant HER2 gene-amplified gastric cancer cell lines.

PMID 23948998


Trastuzumab (Tmab) resistance is a major clinical problem to be resolved in patients with HER2-positive gastric cancers. However, in contrast to the situation for HER2-positive breast cancer lines, the Tmab-resistant gastric cancer preclinical models that are needed to develop a new therapy to overcome this problem are not yet available. We developed three new cell lines from HER2 gene-amplified gastric cancer cell lines (GLM-1, GLM-4, NCI N-87) by a new in vivo selection method consisting of the repeated culture of small residual peritoneal metastasis but not subcutaneous tumor after Tmab treatment. We then evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of lapatinib for these Tmab-resistant cells. We successfully isolated two Tmab-resistant cell lines (GLM1-HerR2(3), GLM4-HerR2) among the three tested cell lines. These resistant cells differed from the parental cells in their flat morphology and rapid growth in vitro, but HER2, P95HER2 expression, and Tmab binding were essentially the same for the parental and resistant cells. MUC4 expression was up- or downregulated depending on the cell line. These resistant cells were still sensitive to lapatinib, similar to the parental cells, in vitro. This growth inhibition of the Tmab-resistant cells by lapatinib was due to both G1 cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis induction via effective blockade of the PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways. A preclinical study confirmed that the Tmab-resistant tumors are significantly susceptible to lapatinib. These results suggest that lapatinib has antitumor activity against the Tmab-resistant gastric cancer cell lines, and that these cell lines are useful for understanding the mechanism of Tmab resistance and for developing a new molecular therapy for Tmab-resistant HER2-positive gastric cancers.