Towards Novel Effective Combination Therapy for KRAS Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Sara Kurim, University, My, University, My
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80–85% of all lung cancers and is associated with significant mortality. As epidermal-growth-factor receptor (EGFR) is over-expressed in 80-90% of NSCLC, its inhibition via EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) is a main therapeutic strategy. However, patients with mutations in KRAS are resistant to EGFR-TKIs. A study in mutant KRAS-driven lung cancer in transgenic mice showed that tumor growth was dependent on the activity of focal adhesion
more » ... y of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Therefore, we hypothesized that KRAS-mutant NSCLC will be sensitive to FAK-TKIs and, given known FAK-EGFR cross-talk, FAK inhibition will sensitize KRAS-mutant NSCLC to EGFR-TKIs. We performed cell viability assays of WT versus mutant KRAS NSCLC cell lines following treatment with FAK-TKI alone or in combination with a clinically relevant EGFR-TKI. We found that KRAS-mutant cells were more sensitive to FAK-TKI than KRAS-WT NSCLC. In addition, we found that the combination treatment including FAK and EGFR TKIs resulted in reduced tumor cell viability as compared to treatment with either drug alone. This enhanced anti-tumor response could be due to FAK-TKI's ability to down-regulate EGFR downstream targets. Our preliminary data suggests that in KRAS-mutant cells the drug combination appears to more effectively inhibit Akt activity than single drug treatment alone. This suggests an enhanced ability to impair cell survival following treatment with the drug combination. We also found that treatment with FAK TKI in KRAS mutant NSCLC cells resulted in increased activation of EGFR which was due in part to modulation of EGFR recycling and production of endogenous EGFR ligands. Thus, the combination of FAK- and EGFR-TKIs may be more effective in KRAS mutant NSCLC as treatment with EGFR-TKI overcomes the unexpected 'side effect' of treatment with FAK-TKI, namely activation of the EGFR pathway by this drug. The findings of our study are novel and have uncovered previously unrecognized outcomes of FAK inhibition on EGFR a [...]
doi:10.20381/ruor-21713 fatcat:rnwv6v7dw5h6ppjs3f6w6apata