Honokiol is a promising natural compound in overcoming acquired resistance to cetuximab. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Overcoming Resistance to Cetuximab with Honokiol, A Small-Molecule Polyphenol.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Jan ;17(1):204-214. Epub 2017 Oct 20. PMID: 29054984
Hannah E Pearson
Overexpression and activation of the EGFR have been linked to poor prognosis in several human cancers. Cetuximab is a mAb against EGFR that is used for the treatment in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and metastatic colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, most tumors have intrinsic or will acquire resistance to cetuximab during the course of therapy. Honokiol is a natural compound found in the bark and leaves of the Chinese Magnolia tree and is established to have several anticancer properties without appreciable toxicity. In this study, we hypothesized that combining cetuximab and honokiol treatments could overcome acquired resistance to cetuximab. We previously developed a model of acquired resistance to cetuximab in non-small cell lung cancer H226 cell line. Treatment of cetuximab-resistant clones with honokiol and cetuximab resulted in a robust antiproliferative response. Immunoblot analysis revealed the HER family and their signaling pathways were downregulated after combination treatment, most notably the proliferation (MAPK) and survival (AKT) pathways. In addition, we found a decrease in phosphorylation of DRP1 and reactive oxygen species after combination treatment in cetuximab-resistant clones, which may signify a change in mitochondrial function. Furthermore, we utilized cetuximab-resistant HNSCC patient-derived xenografts (PDX) to test the benefit of combinatorial treatmentThere was significant growth delay in PDX tumors after combination treatment with a subsequent downregulation of active MAPK, AKT, and DRP1 signaling as seenCollectively, these data suggest that honokiol is a promising natural compound in overcoming acquired resistance to cetuximab..