Estrogen receptor α (ER)-positive breast cancers adapt to hormone deprivation and become resistant to antiestrogens. In this study, we sought to identify kinases essential for growth of ER + breast cancer cells resistant to long-term estrogen deprivation (LTED). A kinome-wide siRNA screen showed that the insulin receptor (InsR) is required for growth of MCF-7/LTED cells. Knockdown of InsR and/or insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGFIR) inhibited growth of 3 of 4 LTED cell lines. Inhibition of InsR and IGF-IR with the dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor OSI-906 prevented the emergence of hormone-independent cells and tumors in vivo, inhibited parental and LTED cell growth and PI3K/AKT signaling, and suppressed growth of established MCF-7 xenografts in ovariectomized mice, whereas treatment with the neutralizing IGF-IR monoclonal antibody MAB391 was ineffective. Combined treatment with OSI-906 and the ER downregulator fulvestrant more effectively suppressed hormone-independent tumor growth than either drug alone. Finally, an insulin/IGF-I gene expression signature predicted recurrencefree survival in patients with ER + breast cancer treated with the antiestrogen tamoxifen. We conclude that therapeutic targeting of both InsR and IGF-IR should be more effective than targeting IGF-IR alone in abrogating resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research