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Co-occurring alterations in the RAS-MAPK pathway limit response to MET inhibitor treatment in MET exon 14 skipping mutation positive lung cancer

By Julia K Rotow, Philippe Gui, Wei Wu, Victoria M Raymond, Richard B Lanman, Frederic J Kaye, Nir Peled, Ferran Fece de la Cruz, Brandon Nadres, Ryan B Corcoran, Iwei Yeh, Boris C. Bastian, Petr Starostik, Kimberly Newsom, Victor R Olivas, Alexander M Wolff, James S Fraser, eric collisson, Caroline E McCoach, D Ross Camidge, Jose Pacheco, Lyudmila Bazhenova, Tianhong Li, Trever G. Bivona, Collin M. Blakely

Posted 22 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/374181 (published DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-1667)

PURPOSE While patients with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) harboring MET exon 14 skipping mutations ( METex 14) often benefit from MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment, clinical benefit is limited by primary and acquired drug resistance. The molecular basis for this resistance remains incompletely understood. METHODS Targeted sequencing analysis was performed on cell-free circulating tumor DNA obtained from 289 patients with advanced-stage METex 14-mutated NSCLC. RESULTS Prominent co-occurring RAS-MAPK pathway gene alterations (e.g. in KRAS, NF1 ) were detected in NSCLCs with METex 14 skipping alterations as compared to EGFR -mutated NSCLCs. There was an association between decreased MET TKI treatment response and RAS-MAPK pathway co-occurring alterations. In a preclinical model expressing a canonical METex 14 mutation, KRAS overexpression or NF1 downregulation hyperactivated MAPK signaling to promote MET TKI resistance. This resistance was overcome by co-treatment with crizotinib and the MEK inhibitor trametinib. CONCLUSION Our study provides a genomic landscape of co-occurring alterations in advanced-stage METex 14-mutated NSCLC and suggests a potential combination therapy strategy targeting MAPK pathway signaling to enhance clinical outcomes.

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