Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent type of cancer worldwide and frequently associated with metastatic complications. Therapeutic strategies used to treat those patients who do not respond to conventional chemotherapy is based on the application of monoclonal antibodies cetuximab or panitumumab, both directed to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). However, in some cases resistance is associated with KRAS mutations while in other, is associated with overexpression of HER2, another receptor belonging to the EGFR family. Therefore, this project was designed to test the hypothesis that the combination of anti-EGFR and anti-HER antibodies will be able to reduce the escape of tumor cells, and that their association with antitumor drugs could improve the elimination of tumor cells. Then our goal is to use gold nanoparticles (AuNP) for transporting 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), addressing them to colorectal cancer cells by coating them with antibodies against the receptors of epidermal growth factor EGFR (ErbB-1) and HER2 (ErbB-2). Nanocarriers will be tested in vitro for its interaction and internalization with different tumor cell lines (one resistant and two sensitive to antibodies). Toxicity, and interaction of AuNP with target cells, as well as the ability to induce apoptosis/necrosis will be evaluated by flow cytometry. We will also evaluate the effect of these particles on the cell cycle of target cells.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: