Cholangiocarcinoma is an intractable cancer, with no effective therapy other than surgical resection. Elevated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressions are associated with the progression of cholangiocarcinoma. We therefore examined whether inhibition of VEGFR and EGFR could be a potential therapeutic target for cholangiocarcinoma. Vandetanib (ZD6474, ZACTIMA), a VEGFR-2/EGFR inhibitor, was evaluated. Four human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines were molecularly characterised and investigated for their response to vandetanib. In vitro, two cell lines (OZ and HuCCT1), both of which harboured KRAS mutation, were refractory to vandetanib, one cell line (TGBC24TKB) was somewhat resistant, and another cell line (TKKK) was sensitive. The most sensitive cell line (TKKK) had EGFR amplification. Vandetanib significantly inhibited the growth of TKKK xenografts at doses 12.5 mg kg 1 day 1 (P0.05), but higher doses (50 mg kg 1 day 1, P0.05) of vandetanib were required to inhibit the growth of OZ xenografts. Vandetanib (25 mg kg 1 day 1) also significantly (P0.006) prolonged the time to metastasis in an intravenous model of TKKK metastasis. Inhibiting both VEGFR and EGFR signalling appears a promising therapeutic approach for cholangiocarcinoma. The absence of KRAS mutation and the presence of EGFR amplification may be potential predictive molecular marker of sensitivity to EGFR-targeted therapy in cholangiocarcinoma.
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