J Cancer 2015; 6(4):382-386. doi:10.7150/jca.11187

Short Research Communication

The Effect of Tumor Microenvironment on Autophagy and Sensitivity to Targeted Therapy in EGFR-Mutated Lung Adenocarcinoma

Yuan-Yuan Li, Sze-Kwan Lam, Chun-Yan Zheng, James Chung-Man Ho

Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong SAR

Abstract

Lung cancer is the top cancer killer worldwide. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), for example erlotinib, are commonly used to target epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated lung adenocarcinoma (ADC). Autophagy is a cellular response to stress, serving as a protective mechanism during anticancer therapy. The tumor microenvironment (TME) is composed of non-tumor cells that include fibroblasts. Our study aimed to investigate the effect of TME on autophagy and TKI sensitivity. Following cell sorting after direct co-culturing, autophagy and cytokine production were observed in both HCC827 and MRC-5 cells. The synergistic combination of erlotinib and chloroquine (autophagy inhibitor) was observed under TME. Tumor growth was significantly suppressed with combined erlotinib/chloroquine compared with erlotinib in HCC827 xenografts.

Keywords: Tumor microenvironment, autophagy, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, non-small cell lung carcinoma

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How to cite this article:
Li YY, Lam SK, Zheng CY, Ho JCM. The Effect of Tumor Microenvironment on Autophagy and Sensitivity to Targeted Therapy in EGFR-Mutated Lung Adenocarcinoma. J Cancer 2015; 6(4):382-386. doi:10.7150/jca.11187. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v06p0382.htm