Wednesday, March 2, 2016

BRAF inhibitors + SRS in brain mets = good. And.... BRAFi resistant tumors may be vulnerable to arginine deprivation or resistance avoided with the addition of APR-246!

Impact on overall survival of the combination of BRAF inhibitors and stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with melanoma brain metastases.  Wolf, Zia, Verma, Pavlick, et al.  J Neurooncol. 2016. Feb 6.
“The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of BRAF inhibitors on survival outcomes in patients receiving stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for melanoma brain metastases. We prospectively collected treatment parameters and outcomes for 80 patients with melanoma brain metastases who underwent SRS. Thirty-five patients harbored the BRAF mutation (BRAF-M) and 45 patients did not (BRAF-WT). The median overall survival from first SRS procedure was 6.7, 11.2 months if treated with a BRAF inhibitor and 4.5 months for BRAF-WT. Actuarial survival rates for BRAF-M patients on an inhibitor were 54 % at 6 months and 41 % at 12 months from the time of SRS. In contrast, BRAF-WT had overall survival rates of 28 % at 6 months and 19 % at 12 months. Overall survival was extended for patients on a BRAF inhibitor at or after the first SRS. The median time to intracranial progression was 3.9 months on a BRAF inhibitor and 1.7 months without. The local control rate for all treated tumors was 92.5 %, with no difference based on BRAF status. Patients with higher KPS, fewer treated intracranial metastases, controlled systemic disease, RPA Class 1 and BRAF-M patients had extended overall survival. Overall, patients with BRAF-M treated with both SRS and BRAF inhibitors, at or after SRS, have increased overall survival from the time of SRS. As patients live longer as a result of more effective systemic and local therapies, close surveillance and early management of intracranial disease with SRS will become increasingly important.”

BRAF inhibitor resistance enhances vulnerability to arginine deprivation in melanoma.  Li, Wu, Chen, et al.  Oncotarget.  2016 Jan 11.
“BRAF inhibitor (BRAFi) has been used for treatment of melanomas harboring V600E mutation. Despite a high initial response rate, resistance to BRAFi is inevitable. Here, we demonstrate that BRAFi-resistant (BR) melanomas are susceptible to arginine deprivation due to inability to initiate re-expression of argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1, a key enzyme for arginine synthesis) as well as ineffective autophagy. Autophagy and ASS1 re-expression are known to protect melanoma cells from cell death upon arginine deprivation. When melanoma cells become BR cells by long-term in vitro incubation with BRAFi, c-Myc-mediated ASS1 re-expression and the levels of autophagy-associated proteins (AMPK-α1 and Atg5) are attenuated. Furthermore, our study uncovers that downregulation of deubiquitinase USP28 which results in more active c-Myc degradation via ubiquitin-proteasome machinery is the primary mechanism for inability to re-express ASS1 upon arginine deprivation in BR cells. Overexpression of USP28 in BR cells enhances c-Myc expression and hence increases ASS1 transcription upon arginine deprivation, and consequently leads to cell survival. On the other hand, overexpression of Atg5 or AMPK-α1 in BR cells can redirect arginine deprivation-induced apoptosis toward autophagy. The xenograft models also confirm that BR tumors possess lower expression of ASS1 and are hypersensitive to arginine deprivation. These biochemical changes in BRAFi resistance which make them vulnerable to arginine deprivation can be exploited for the future treatment of BR melanoma patients.”

p53 Reactivation by PRIMA-1Met (APR-246) sensitizes V600E/KBRAF melanoma to vemurafenib.  Krayem, Journe, Wiedig, et al.  Eur J Cancer.  2016 Jan 17.
“Intrinsic and acquired resistance of metastatic melanoma to V600E/KBRAF and/or MEK inhibitors, which is often caused by activation of the PI3K/AKT survival pathway, represents a major clinical challenge. Given that p53 is capable of antagonizing PI3K/AKT activation we hypothesized that pharmacological restoration of p53 activity may increase the sensitivity of BRAF-mutant melanoma to MAPK-targeted therapy and eventually delay and/or prevent acquisition of drug resistance. To test this possibility we exposed a panel of vemurafenib-sensitive and resistant (innate and acquired) V600E/KBRAF melanomas to a V600E/KBRAF inhibitor (vemurafenib) alone or in combination with a direct p53 activator (PRIMA-1Met/APR-246). Strikingly, PRIMA-1Met synergised with vemurafenib to induce apoptosis and suppress proliferation of V600E/KBRAF melanoma cells in vitro and to inhibit tumor growth in vivo. Importantly, this drug combination decreased the viability of both vemurafenib-sensitive and resistant melanoma cells irrespective of the TP53 status. Notably, p53 reactivation was invariably accompanied by PI3K/AKT pathway inhibition, the activity of which was found as a dominant resistance mechanism to BRAF inhibition in our lines. From all various combinatorial modalities tested, targeting the MAPK and PI3K signalling pathways through p53 reactivation or not, the PRIMA-1Met/vemurafenib combination was the most cytotoxic. We conclude that PRIMA-1Met through its ability to directly reactivate p53 regardless of the mechanism causing its deactivation, and thereby dampen PI3K signalling, sensitizes V600E/KBRAF-positive melanoma to BRAF inhibitors.”

For what it's worth! - c

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