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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 243859, 9 pages
Research Article

Bufalin Reverses HGF-Induced Resistance to EGFR-TKIs in EGFR Mutant Lung Cancer Cells via Blockage of Met/PI3k/Akt Pathway and Induction of Apoptosis

1Department of Clinical Oncology, Long Hua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
2Department of Clinical Oncology, Ping Ding Shan First People’s Hospital, Henan 467000, China
3Department of Infection, Ping Ding Shan First People’s Hospital, Henan 467000, China

Received 12 December 2012; Accepted 4 February 2013

Academic Editor: Vincenzo de Feo

Copyright © 2013 Xiao-Hong Kang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), such as gefitinib and erlotinib, have shown promising therapeutic efficacy in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring epidermal growth factor receptor- (EGFR-) activating mutation. However, the inevitable recurrence resulting from acquired resistance has limited the clinical improvement in therapy outcomes. Many studies demonstrate that hepatocyte growth factor- (HGF-) Met axis plays an important role in tumor progression and drug sensitivity. HGF may induce resistance to EGFR-TKIs in EGFR mutant lung cancer cells by Met/PI3K/Akt signaling. The purpose of this study was to determine whether bufalin, a major bioactive component of Venenum Bufonis, could reverse HGF-induced resistance to reversible and irreversible EGFR-TKIs in mutant lung cancer cells PC-9, HCC827, and H1975. Our studies showed that bufalin could reverse resistance to reversible and irreversible EGFR-TKIs induced by exogenous HGF in EGFR mutant lung cancer cells by inhibiting the Met/PI3K/Akt pathway and inducing death signaling. These results suggested that bufalin might have a potential to overcome HGF-induced resistance to molecular-targeted drugs for lung cancer.