Modulation Of The Tgf-beta And Pi3k/akt Pathways In The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Abstract

Described herein is the finding that the PI3K/Akt and TGF-ß pathways act cooperatively to promote squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), such as head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In particular, it was found that conditional deletion of transforming growth factor-ß receptor type I (TGFBRl) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in head and neck epithelia of mice led to spontaneous development of SCC in the mice with complete penetrance. Accordingly, provided herein are methods of treating a subject diagnosed with SCC by administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of an inhibitor of the PDK/Akt pathway and a therapeutically effective amount of a modulator of the TGF-ß pathway. Also provided is a method of diagnosing a subject as having SCC, or being susceptible to developing SCC, by detecting the presence or absence of at least one tumor- associated mutation in the TGFBRl gene and at least one tumor-associated mutation in the PTEN gene. Further provided is a method of diagnosing a subject as having SCC, or being susceptible to developing SCC, by detecting expression of TGFBRl and PTEN in a sample obtained from the subject. Pharmaceutical compositions that include an inhibitor of the PDK/Akt pathway and a modulator of the TGF-ß pathway, and the use of such pharmaceutical compositions for the treatment of SCC, are also provided herein.


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