Identifying biomarkers of differential chemotherapy response in TNBC patient-derived xenografts with a CTD/WGCNA approach

Varduhi Petrosyan, Lacey E. Dobrolecki, Lillian Thistlethwaite, Alaina N. Lewis, Christina Sallas, Ramakrishnan R. Srinivasan, Jonathan T. Lei, Vladimir Kovacevic, Predrag Obradovic, Matthew J. Ellis, C. Kent Osborne, Mothaffar F. Rimawi, Anne Pavlick, Maryam Nemati Shafaee, Heidi Dowst, Antrix Jain, Alexander B. Saltzman, Anna Malovannaya, Elisabetta Marangoni, Alana L. WelmBryan E. Welm, Shunqiang Li, Gerburg M. Wulf, Olmo Sonzogni, Chen Huang, Suhas Vasaikar, Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Bing Zhang, Aleksandar Milosavljevic, Michael T. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although systemic chemotherapy remains the standard of care for TNBC, even combination chemotherapy is often ineffective. The identification of biomarkers for differential chemotherapy response would allow for the selection of responsive patients, thus maximizing efficacy and minimizing toxicities. Here, we leverage TNBC PDXs to identify biomarkers of response. To demonstrate their ability to function as a preclinical cohort, PDXs were characterized using DNA sequencing, transcriptomics, and proteomics to show consistency with clinical samples. We then developed a network-based approach (CTD/WGCNA) to identify biomarkers of response to carboplatin (MSI1, TMSB15A, ARHGDIB, GGT1, SV2A, SEC14L2, SERPINI1, ADAMTS20, DGKQ) and docetaxel (c, MAGED4, CERS1, ST8SIA2, KIF24, PARPBP). CTD/WGCNA multigene biomarkers are predictive in PDX datasets (RNAseq and Affymetrix) for both taxane- (docetaxel or paclitaxel) and platinum-based (carboplatin or cisplatin) response, thereby demonstrating cross-expression platform and cross-drug class robustness. These biomarkers were also predictive in clinical datasets, thus demonstrating translational potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105799
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2023


  • Cancer
  • Immune response
  • Omics


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