PubMed | Hospital Universitario Quiron Dexeus, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Novartis, Vall dHebron Institute of Oncology and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer cell | Year: 2015
Phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)- inhibitors have shown clinical activity in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of head and neck (H&N) bearing PIK3CA mutations or amplification. Studying models of therapeutic resistance, we have observed that SCC cells that become refractory to PI3K inhibition maintain PI3K-independent activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This persistent mTOR activation is mediated by the tyrosine kinase receptor AXL. AXL is overexpressed in resistant tumors from both laboratory models and patients treated with the PI3K inhibitor BYL719. AXL dimerizes with and phosphorylates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), resulting in activation of phospholipase C (PLC)-protein kinase C (PKC), which, in turn, activates mTOR. Combined treatment with PI3K and either EGFR, AXL, or PKC inhibitors reverts this resistance.