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Whole-genome sequencing reveals complex mechanisms of intrinsic resistance to BRAF inhibition.

ABSTRACT: BRAF is mutated in ?42% of human melanomas (COSMIC. http://www.sanger.ac.uk/genetics/CGP/cosmic/) and pharmacological BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib and dabrafenib achieve dramatic responses in patients whose tumours harbour BRAF(V600) mutations. Objective responses occur in ?50% of patients and disease stabilisation in a further ?30%, but ?20% of patients present primary or innate resistance and do not respond. Here, we investigated the underlying cause of treatment failure in a patient with BRAF mutant melanoma who presented primary resistance.We carried out whole-genome sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array analysis of five metastatic tumours from the patient. We validated mechanisms of resistance in a cell line derived from the patient's tumour.We observed that the majority of the single-nucleotide variants identified were shared across all tumour sites, but also saw site-specific copy-number alterations in discrete cell populations at different sites. We found that two ubiquitous mutations mediated resistance to BRAF inhibition in these tumours. A mutation in GNAQ sustained mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling, whereas a mutation in PTEN activated the PI3 K/AKT pathway. Inhibition of both pathways synergised to block the growth of the cells.Our analyses show that the five metastases arose from a common progenitor and acquired additional alterations after disease dissemination. We demonstrate that a distinct combination of mutations mediated primary resistance to BRAF inhibition in this patient. These mutations were present in all five tumours and in a tumour sample taken before BRAF inhibitor treatment was administered. Inhibition of both pathways was required to block tumour cell growth, suggesting that combined targeting of these pathways could have been a valid therapeutic approach for this patient.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3999800 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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