Preexisting oncogenic events impact trastuzumab sensitivity in ERBB2-amplified gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma

Jihun Kim, Cameron Fox, Shouyong Peng, Mark Pusung, Eirini Pectasides, Eric Matthee, Yong Sang Hong, In Gu Do, Jiryeon Jang, Aaron R. Thorner, Paul Van Hummelen, Anil K. Rustgi, Kwok Kin Wong, Zhongren Zhou, Ping Tang, Kyoung Mee Kim, Jeeyun Lee, Adam J. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Patients with gastric and esophageal (GE) adenocarcinoma tumors in which the oncogene ERBB2 has been amplified are routinely treated with a combination of cytotoxic chemotherapy and the ERBB2-directed antibody trastuzumab; however, the addition of trastuzumab, even when tested in a selected biomarker-positive patient population, provides only modest survival gains. To investigate the potential reasons for the modest impact of ERBB2-directed therapies, we explored the hypothesis that secondary molecular features of ERBB2-amplified GE adenocarcinomas attenuate the impact of ERBB2 blockade. We analyzed genomic profiles of ERBB2-amplified GE adenocarcinomas and determined that the majority of ERBB2-amplified tumors harbor secondary oncogenic alterations that have the potential to be therapeutically targeted. These secondary events spanned genes involved in cell-cycle regulation as well as phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. Using ERBB2-amplified cell lines, we demonstrated that secondary oncogenic events could confer resistance to ERBB2-directed therapies. Moreover, this resistance could be overcome by targeting the secondary oncogene in conjunction with ERBB2-directed therapy. EGFR is commonly coamplified with ERBB2, and in the setting of ERBB2 amplification, higher EGFR expression appears to mark tumors with greater sensitivity to dual EGFR/ERBB2 kinase inhibitors. These data suggest that combination inhibitor strategies, guided by secondary events in ERBB2-amplified GE adenocarcinomas, should be evaluated in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5145-5158
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume124
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

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