Dependence of a Human Squamous Carcinoma and Associated Paraneoplastic Syndromes on the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway in Nude Mice

Toshiyuki Yoneda, Maria M. Alsina, Kazuya Watatani, Gregory R. Mundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Increased levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have been shown on squamous cell carcinomas. Recently, we described a squamous cell carcinoma (MH-85) derived from the oral cavity which was associated with several paraneoplastic syndromes including hypercalcemia and cachexia. This tumor induced the same paraneoplastic syndromes in nude mice (BALB/c, nu/nu, male, 4-6 weeks old). Scatchard analysis revealed that there are two classes of EGFR in MH-85. The dissociation constant and number of binding sites for the high affinity receptors were 38 p/i and 5 × 104/cell, respectively, and 2.2 UMand 6 × 10*cell, respectively, for the low affinity receptors. Growth of MH-85 in culture was stimulated by epidermal growth factor (EGF) and inhibited by monoclonal antibody 108 to human EGFR, which recognizes the extracellular domain of the EGF receptor. Surgical removal of submandibular glands from male nude mice resulted in a dramatic decrease in plasma EGF levels and a significant reduction of tumor growth, hypercalcemia, and cachexia. When EGF (5 ¿ig/mouse, every 2 days for 6 weeks, i.p.) was administered to these sialoadenectomized animals, tumor growth increased, with a parallel increase in hypercalcemia. When mono clonal antibody 108 (1 mg/mouse, i.p.) was given 1, 5, and 10 days after MH-85 tumor implantation, tumor formation was retarded, which re sulted in delayed onset of hypercalcemia and cachexia. Moreover, when the antibody was injected 6 times in nude mice exhibiting large tumors and profound hypercalcemia and cachexia, there was a striking decrease in tumor growth, which was accompanied with a reversal of hypercalcemia and cachexia. These results indicate that growth of the human squamous cell carcinoma MH-85 is dependent on the EGFR pathway and that subsequent development of hypercalcemia and cachexia is dependent on tumor growth. They also suggest that agents which interfere with the EGFR pathway may have therapeutic potential as anticancer agents in some human tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2438-2443
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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