Irreversible pan-ERBB inhibitor canertinib elicits anti-leukaemic effects and induces the regression of FLT3-ITD transformed cells in mice.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent findings have indicated that tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the ERBB receptor family display anti-leukaemic effects, despite the lack of receptor expression on human leukaemic cells. The occurrence of activating mutations in the gene encoding FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) has rendered inhibition of this receptor a promising therapeutic target. Due to possibility of cross-reactivity, we investigated the effect of the irreversible pan-ERBB inhibitor canertinib (CI-1033) on leukaemic cells expressing FLT3. The drug had anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects on primary AML cells and human leukaemic cell lines expressing mutated FLT3. In several AML patient samples, a blast cell population expressing FLT3-internal tandem duplication (ITD) was eradicated by canertinib. Canertinib inhibited receptor autophosphorylation and kinase activity of both mutated and FLT3 ligand stimulated wildtype FLT3, leading to inhibition of the PI3-kinase and MAP kinase pathways. Apoptotic induction was dependent on pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein BCL2L11/BIM because siRNA silencing attenuated apoptosis. Moreover, the drug induced regression of cells expressing FLT3-ITD in a murine in vivo-transplantation model at previously described tolerated doses. These results indicate that canertinib, as an irreversible TKI, could constitute a novel treatment regimen in patients with mutated or overexpressed FLT3.


  • Amanda Nordigården
  • Jenny Zetterblad
  • Cecilia Trinks
  • Henrik Green
  • Pernilla Eliasson
  • Pia Druid
  • Kourosh Lotfi
  • Lars Rönnstrand
  • Thomas M Walz
  • Jan-Ingvar Jönsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-208
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Experimental Clinical Chemistry (013016010)