Supplementary Figure 5: HCC-1806 cells (1x106) were injected into nude mice and allowed to attain volume of 100-200 mm3. Control IgG, DMSO, MAb602.101 (15mg/kg b.w.), PD98059 (50microM) or combination was administered to the animals every 72 hours and tumors were excised for end point analysis.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTAberrant activation of Notch and Ras pathways has been detected in breast cancers. A synergy between these two pathways has also been shown in breast cell transformation in culture. Yet, the clinical relevance of Notch–Ras cooperation in breast cancer progression remains unexplored. In this study, we show that coordinate hyperactivation of Notch1 and Ras/MAPK pathways in breast cancer patient specimens, as assessed by IHC for cleaved Notch1 and pErk1/2, respectively, correlated with early relapse to vital organs and poor overall survival. Interestingly, majority of such Notch1highErkhigh cases encompassed the highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC), and were enriched in stem cell markers. We further show that combinatorial inhibition of Notch1 and Ras/MAPK pathways, using a novel mAb against Notch1 and a MEK inhibitor, respectively, led to a significant reduction in proliferation and survival of breast cancer cells compared with individual inhibition. Combined inhibition also abrogated sphere-forming potential, and depleted the putative cancer stem-like cell subpopulation. Most importantly, combinatorial inhibition of Notch1 and Ras/MAPK pathways completely blocked tumor growth in a panel of breast cancer xenografts, including the TNBCs. Thus, our study identifies coordinate hyperactivation of Notch1 and Ras/MAPK pathways as novel biomarkers for poor breast cancer outcome. Furthermore, based on our preclinical data, we propose combinatorial targeting of these two pathways as a treatment strategy for highly aggressive breast cancers, particularly the TNBCs that currently lack any targeted therapeutic module. Mol Cancer Ther; 13(12); 3198–209. ©2014 AACR.