Editors' ChoiceCancer

Better together

See allHide authors and affiliations

Sci. Signal.  03 Feb 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 362, pp. ec28
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaa8071

Inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are already used to treat colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, although many patients’ tumors respond to these drugs, most of these responses are only partial and result in a slowing of tumor growth rather than a regression of the cancer. Zanella et al. used a combination of patient samples and mouse xenografts to determine the reasons for the incomplete response to treatment and how it can be overcome. In some cases, more effective treatment required a more complete inhibition of EGFR. Many of the other cancers overexpressed high amounts of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), and combining inhibitors of EGFR and IGF was an effective way to overcome resistance in these tumors.

E. R. Zanella, F. Galimi, F. Sassi, G. Migliardi, F. Cottino, S. M. Leto, B. Lupo, J. Erriquez, C. Isella, P. M. Comoglio, E. Medico, S. Tejpar, E. Budinská, L. Trusolino, A. Bertotti, IGF2 is an actionable target that identifies a distinct subpopulation of colorectal cancer patients with marginal response to anti-EGFR therapies. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 272ra12 (2015). [Abstract]