Antibody Effective Against Pancreatic Cancers in Mice

AMG 479 reduces the growth and survival of the cancers in mice; could be a treatment for humans

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- An antibody against the insulin-like growth factor type I receptor (IGF-IR) reduces the growth and survival of pancreatic cancers in mice, according to a study published online April 14 in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Pedro J. Beltran, Ph.D., from Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and colleagues investigated the effect of AMG 479, a fully human monoclonal antibody against IGF-IR, in two pancreatic cell lines that expressed IGF-IR and differentially expressed the insulin receptor.

The researchers found that AMG 479 bound to IGF-IR, blocking the binding of ligands, completely inhibiting ligand-induced activation of the receptor, and leading to reduced cell growth and survival. AMG 479 did not bind to the insulin receptor or prevent ligand-induced activation of insulin receptor homodimers. AMG 479 also inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer xenografts in immunodeficient mice by about 80 percent. Combining AMG 479 with gemcitabine increased the inhibitory activity both in vitro and in vivo.

"These results indicate that AMG 479 is a clinical candidate, both as a single agent and in combination with gemcitabine, for the treatment of patients with pancreatic carcinoma," Beltran and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Amgen Inc., which several authors work for and own stock in. Another author was previously a consultant for Amgen.

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