Despite better control of early-stage disease and improved overall survival of patients with breast cancer, the incidence of life-threatening brain metastases continues to increase in some of these patients. Unfortunately, other than palliative treatments there is no effective therapy for this condition. In this study, we reveal a critical role for Src activation in promoting brain metastasis in a preclinical model of breast cancer and we show how Srctargeting combinatorial regimens can treat HER2 brain metastases in this model. We found that Src was hyperactivated in brain-seeking breast cancer cells derived from human cell lines or from patients' brain metastases. Mechanistically, Src activation promoted tumor cell extravasation into the brain parenchyma via permeabilization of the blood-brain barrier. When combined with the EGFR/HER2 dual-targeting drug lapatinib, an Src-targeting combinatorial regimen prevented outgrowth of disseminated breast cancer cells through the induction of cell-cycle arrest. More importantly, this combinatorial regimen inhibited the outgrowth of established experimental brain metastases, prolonging the survival of metastases-bearing mice. Our results provide a rationale for clinical evaluation of Src-targeting regimens to treat patients with breast cancer suffering from brain metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research