Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology

Boston, United States

Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology

Boston, United States

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Ercan D.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Ercan D.,Center for Cancer Genome Discovery | Xu C.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Yanagita M.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | And 23 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2012

The clinical efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitors is limited by the development of drug resistance. The irreversible EGFR kinase inhibitor WZ4002 is effective against the most common mechanism of drug resistance mediated by the EGFR T790M mutation. Here, we show, in multiple complementary models, that resistance to WZ4002 develops through aberrant activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling caused by either an amplification of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) or by downregulation of negative regulators of ERK signaling. Inhibition of MAP-ERK kinase (MEK) or ERK restores sensitivity to WZ4002 and prevents the emergence of drug resistance. We further identify MAPK1 amplification in an erlotinibresistant EGFR -mutant non-small cell lung carcinoma patient. In addition, the WZ4002-resistant MAPK1 -amplified cells also show an increase both in EGFR internalization and a decrease in sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Our findings provide insights into mechanisms of drug resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors and highlight rational combination therapies that should be evaluated in clinical trials. ©2012 AACR.


Chen Z.,Harvard University | Chen Z.,Ludwig Center at Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center | Akbay E.,Harvard University | Akbay E.,Ludwig Center at Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center | And 17 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Purpose: To extend the results of a phase III trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer with adenocarcinomas harboring EML4-ALK fusion. Experimental Design: We conducted a co-clinical trial in a mouse model comparing the ALK inhibitor crizotinib to the standard-of-care cytotoxic agents docetaxel or pemetrexed. Results: Concordant with the clinical outcome in humans, crizotinib produced a substantially higher response rate compared with chemotherapy, associated with significantly longer progression-free survival. Overall survival was also prolonged in crizotinib- compared with chemotherapy-treated mice. Pemetrexed produced superior overall survival compared with docetaxel, suggesting that this agent may be the preferred chemotherapy in the ALK population. In addition, in the EML4-ALK-driven mouse lung adenocarcinoma model, HSP90 inhibition can overcome both primary and acquired crizotinib resistance. Furthermore, HSP90 inhibition, as well as the second-generation ALK inhibitor TAE684, demonstrated activity in newly developed lung adenocarcinoma models driven by crizotinib-insensitive EML4-ALK L1196M or F1174L. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that crizotinib is superior to standard chemotherapy in ALK inhibitor-naive disease and support further clinical investigation of HSP90 inhibitors and secondgeneration ALK inhibitors in tumors with primary or acquired crizotinib resistance. © 2013 AACR.


Liu Q.,Harvard University | Xu C.,Ludwig Center at Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center | Kirubakaran S.,Harvard University | Zhang X.,Harvard University | And 27 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

mTOR is a highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase that serves as a central regulator of cell growth, survival, and autophagy. Deregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway occurs commonly in cancer and numerous inhibitors targeting the ATP-binding site of these kinases are currently undergoing clinical evaluation. Here, we report the characterization of Torin2, a second-generation ATP-competitive inhibitor that is potent and selective for mTOR with a superior pharmacokinetic profile to previous inhibitors. Torin2 inhibited mTORC1- dependent T389 phosphorylation on S6K (RPS6KB1) with an EC50 of 250 pmol/L with approximately 800-fold selectivity for cellular mTOR versus phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Torin2 also exhibited potent biochemical and cellular activity against phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-like kinase (PIKK) family kinases includingATM(EC50, 28 nmol/L), ATR (EC50, 35 nmol/L), and DNA-PK (EC50, 118 nmol/L; PRKDC), the inhibition of which sensitized cells to Irradiation. Similar to the earlier generation compound Torin1 and in contrast to other reported mTOR inhibitors, Torin2 inhibited mTOR kinase and mTORC1 signaling activities in a sustained manner suggestive of a slow dissociation from the kinase. Cancer cell treatment with Torin2 for 24 hours resulted in a prolonged block in negative feedback and consequent T308 phosphorylation on Akt. These effects were associated with strong growth inhibition in vitro. Single-agent treatment with Torin2 in vivo did not yield significant efficacy against KRAS-driven lung tumors, but the combination of Torin2 with mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal- regulated kinase (MEK) inhibitor AZD6244 yielded a significant growth inhibition. Taken together, our findings establish Torin2 as a strong candidate for clinical evaluation in a broad number of oncologic settings wheremTOR signaling has a pathogenic role. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Tanizaki J.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Ercan D.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Capelletti M.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Dodge M.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2015

The discovery of oncogenic driver mutations and the subsequent developments in targeted therapies have led to improved outcomes for subsets of lung cancer patients. The identification of additional oncogenic and drug-sensitive alterations may similarly lead to new therapeutic approaches for lung cancer. We identify and characterize novel FGFR2 extracellular domain insertion mutations and demonstrate that they are both oncogenic and sensitive to inhibition by FGFR kinase inhibitors.Wedemonstrate that the mechanism of FGFR2 activation and subsequent transformation is mediated by ligand-independent dimerization and activation of FGFR2 kinase activity. Both FGFR2-mutant forms are predominantly located in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi but nevertheless can activate downstream signaling pathways through their interactions with fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2). Our findings provide a rationale for therapeutically targeting this unique subset of FGFR2-mutant cancers as well as insight into their oncogenic mechanisms. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.


Liu Y.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Liu Y.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Liu Y.,Ludwig Center | Marks K.,Agios Pharmaceuticals | And 62 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2013

coordinates cell growth, polarity, motility, and metabolism. In non-small cell lung carcinoma, LKB1 is somatically inactivated in 25% to 30% of cases, often concurrently with activating KRAS mutations. Here, we used an integrative approach to defi ne novel therapeutic targets in KRAS-driven LKB1 -mutant lung cancers. High-throughput RNA interference screens in lung cancer cell lines from genetically engineered mouse models driven by activated KRAS with or without coincident Lkb1 deletion led to the identifi cation of Dtymk, encoding deoxythymidylate kinase (DTYMK), which catalyzes dTTP biosynthesis, as synthetically lethal with Lkb1 defi ciency in mouse and human lung cancer lines. Global metabolite profi ling showed that Lkb1- null cells had a striking decrease in multiple nucleotide metabolites as compared with the Lkb1 -wild-type cells. Thus, LKB1 -mutant lung cancers have defi cits in nucleotide metabolism that confer hypersensitivity to DTYMK inhibition, suggesting that DTYMK is a potential therapeutic target in this aggressive subset of tumors. SIGNIFICANCE: Using cell lines derived from the lung cancers occurring in genetically engineered mice, we conducted an integrative genome-wide short hairpin RNA and metabolite screen to identify DTYMK as a potential therapeutic target in Kras/Lkb1 -mutant lung cancer. We believe that DTYMK is tractable for the development of novel therapeutics, and show an integrative approach to target identifi cation that reduces false-positive candidates and should have broad applicability for the development of targeted therapeutics. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Turke A.B.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Turke A.B.,Harvard University | Zejnullahu K.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Zejnullahu K.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 28 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2010

MET amplification activates ERBB3/PI3K/AKT signaling in EGFR mutant lung cancers and causes resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors. We demonstrate that MET activation by its ligand, HGF, also induces drug resistance, but through GAB1 signaling. Using high-throughput FISH analyses in both cell lines and in patients with lung cancer, we identify subpopulations of cells with MET amplification prior to drug exposure. Surprisingly, HGF accelerates the development of MET amplification both in vitro and in vivo. EGFR kinase inhibitor resistance, due to either MET amplification or autocrine HGF production, was cured in vivo by combined EGFR and MET inhibition. These findings highlight the potential to prospectively identify treatment naive, patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer who will benefit from initial combination therapy. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Cardarella S.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | Cardarella S.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Cardarella S.,Harvard University | Ogino A.,Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology | And 17 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: BRAF mutations are found in a subset of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). We examined the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with NSCLC harboring BRAF mutations. Experimental Design: Using DNA sequencing, we successfully screened 883 patients with NSCLC for BRAF mutations between July 1, 2009 and July 16, 2012. Baseline characteristics and treatment outcomes were compared between patients with and without BRAF mutations. Wild-type controls consisted of patients with NSCLC without a somatic alteration in BRAF, KRAS, EGFR, and ALK. In vitro studies assessed the biologic properties of selected non-V600E BRAF mutations identified from patients with NSCLC. Results: Of 883 tumors screened, 36 (4%) harbored BRAF mutations (V600E, 18; non-V600E, 18) and 257 were wild-type for BRAF, EGFR, KRAS, and ALK negative. Twenty-nine of 36 patients with BRAF mutations were smokers. There were no distinguishing clinical features between BRAF-mutant and wildtype patients. Patients with advanced NSCLC with BRAF mutations and wild-type tumors showed similar response rates and progression-free survival (PFS) to platinum-based combination chemotherapy and no difference in overall survival. Within the BRAF cohort, patients with V600E-mutated tumors had a shorter PFS to platinum-based chemotherapy compared with those with non-V600E mutations, although this did not reach statistical significance (4.1 vs. 8.9 months; P = 0.297). We identified five BRAF mutations not previously reported in NSCLC; two of five were associated with increased BRAF kinase activity. Conclusions: BRAF mutations occur in 4% of NSCLCs and half are non-V600E. Prospective trials are ongoing to validate BRAF as a therapeutic target in NSCLC. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


McMahon P.M.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Kong C.Y.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Bouzan C.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Weinstein M.C.,Harvard University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2011

Introduction: A randomized trial has demonstrated that lung cancer screening reduces mortality. Identifying participant and program characteristics that influence the cost-effectiveness of screening will help translate trial results into benefits at the population level. Methods: Six U.S. cohorts (men and women aged 50, 60, or 70 years) were simulated in an existing patient-level lung cancer model. Smoking histories reflected observed U.S. patterns. We simulated lifetime histories of 500,000 identical individuals per cohort in each scenario. Costs per quality-adjusted life-year gained ($/QALY) were estimated for each program: computed tomography screening; stand-alone smoking cessation therapies (4-30% 1-year abstinence); and combined programs. Results: Annual screening of current and former smokers aged 50 to 74 years costs between $126,000 and $169,000/QALY (minimum 20 pack-years of smoking) or $110,000 and $166,000/QALY (40 pack-year minimum), when compared with no screening and assuming background quit rates. Screening was beneficial but had a higher cost per QALY when the model included radiation-induced lung cancers. If screen participation doubled background quit rates, the cost of annual screening (at age 50 years, 20 pack-year minimum) was below $75,000/QALY. If screen participation halved background quit rates, benefits from screening were nearly erased. If screening had no effect on quit rates, annual screening costs more but provided fewer QALYs than annual cessation therapies. Annual combined screening/cessation therapy programs at age 50 years costs $130,500 to $159,700/QALY, when compared with annual stand-alone cessation. Conclusions: The cost-effectiveness of computed tomography screening will likely be strongly linked to achievable smoking cessation rates. Trials and further modeling should explore the consequences of relationships between smoking behaviors and screen participation. Copyright © 2011 by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.


PubMed | Brigham and Women's Hospital, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer research | Year: 2015

The discovery of oncogenic driver mutations and the subsequent developments in targeted therapies have led to improved outcomes for subsets of lung cancer patients. The identification of additional oncogenic and drug-sensitive alterations may similarly lead to new therapeutic approaches for lung cancer. We identify and characterize novel FGFR2 extracellular domain insertion mutations and demonstrate that they are both oncogenic and sensitive to inhibition by FGFR kinase inhibitors. We demonstrate that the mechanism of FGFR2 activation and subsequent transformation is mediated by ligand-independent dimerization and activation of FGFR2 kinase activity. Both FGFR2-mutant forms are predominantly located in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi but nevertheless can activate downstream signaling pathways through their interactions with fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2). Our findings provide a rationale for therapeutically targeting this unique subset of FGFR2-mutant cancers as well as insight into their oncogenic mechanisms.

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