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The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor afatinib is primarily utilized for the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma. The drug is at least partially effective by triggering suicidal tumor cell death. Side effects of afatinib treatment include anemia. At least in theory, afatinib induced anemia could be secondary to stimulation of suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Signaling potentially stimulating eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i), induction of oxidative stress, and increase of ceramide abundance. The present study explored, whether afatinib induces eryptosis and, if so, whether its effect involves Ca2+ entry, oxidative stress, and/or ceramide.
PMID: 29913444 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]