Purpose: The emergence of EGFR inhibitors such as gefitinib, erlotinib, and osimertinib has provided novel treatment opportunities in EGFR-driven non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, most patients with EGFR-driven cancers treated with these inhibitors eventually relapse. Recent efforts have identified the canonical Wnt pathway as a mechanism of protection from EGFR inhibition and that inhibiting tankyrase, a key player in this pathway, is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of EGFR-driven tumors.
Experimental Design: We performed a preclinical evaluation of tankyrase inhibitor AZ1366 in combination with multiple EGFR-inhibitors across NSCLC lines, characterizing its antitumor activity, impingement on canonical Wnt signaling, and effects on gene expression. We performed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling of AZ1366 in mice and evaluated its therapeutic activity in an orthotopic NSCLC model.
Results: In combination with EGFR inhibitors, AZ1366 synergistically suppressed proliferation of multiple NSCLC lines and amplified global transcriptional changes brought about by EGFR inhibition. Its ability to work synergistically with EGFR inhibition coincided with its ability to modulate the canonical Wnt pathway. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling of AZ1366-treated orthotopic tumors demonstrated clinically relevant serum drug levels and intratumoral target inhibition. Finally, coadministration of an EGFR inhibitor and AZ1366 provided better tumor control and improved survival for Wnt-responsive lung cancers in an orthotopic mouse model.
Conclusions: Tankyrase inhibition is a potent route of tumor control in EGFR-dependent NSCLC with confirmed dependence on canonical Wnt signaling. These data strongly support further evaluation of tankyrase inhibition as a cotreatment strategy with EGFR inhibition in an identifiable subset of EGFR-driven NSCLC. Clin Cancer Res; 23(6); 1531–41. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received May 18, 2016.
- Revision received August 23, 2016.
- Accepted September 8, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.