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Cancer Discov. 2013 Jan;3(1):52-67. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0408. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Genotype-selective combination therapies for melanoma identified by high-throughput drug screening.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.

Abstract

Resistance and partial responses to targeted monotherapy are major obstacles in cancer treatment. Systematic approaches to identify efficacious drug combinations for cancer are not well established, especially in the context of genotype. To address this, we have tested pairwise combinations of an array of small-molecule inhibitors on early-passage melanoma cultures using combinatorial drug screening. Results reveal several inhibitor combinations effective for melanomas with activating RAS or BRAF mutations, including mutant BRAF melanomas with intrinsic or acquired resistance to vemurafenib. Inhibition of both EGF receptor and AKT sensitized treatment-resistant BRAF mutant melanoma cultures to vemurafenib. Melanomas with RAS mutations were more resistant to combination therapies relative to BRAF mutants, but were sensitive to combinations of statins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. These results show the use of combinatorial drug screening for discovering unique treatment regimens that overcome resistance phenotypes of mutant BRAF- and RAS-driven melanomas.

SIGNIFICANCE:

We have used drug combinatorial screening to identify effective combinations for mutant BRAF melanomas, including those resistant to vemurafenib, and mutant RAS melanomas that are resistant to many therapies. Mechanisms governing the interactions of the drug combinations are proposed, and in vivo xenografts show the enhanced benefit and tolerability of a mutant RAS -selective combination, which is currently lacking in the clinic.

PMID:
23239741
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3546137
Free PMC Article
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