Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Background: Anti-EGFR therapies have been recommended for advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) with wild-type RAS and PIK3CA mutation. However, PIK3CA mutations are a poor prognostic marker and a negative predictor of response to anti-EGFR therapies in RAS wild-type CRC. Therefore, new and advanced treatment strategies are needed for personalized medical treatment of patients with wild-type RAS and PIK3CA mutation.
Methods: Patient-derived tumor cells were collected from the ascites of a refractory colon cancer patient with wild-type RAS and PIK3CA mutation. We performed a cell viability assay for cetuximab, AZD5363 (AKT inhibitor), and everolimus (mTOR inhibitor) using PDCs. We also evaluated combinations of cetuximab plus AZD5363 or everolimus in a cell viability assay.
Results: Based on cellular proliferation by MTT assay, tumor cells were significantly inhibited by 1uM cetuximab (control vs. cetuximab, mean growth = 100.0% vs 58.07%, p = 0.0103), 1uM AZD5363 (control vs. AZD5363, mean growth = 100.0% vs 58.22%, p = 0.0123), and 1uM everolimus (control vs. everolimus, mean growth = 100.0% vs 52.17%, p = 0.0011). Tumor cell growth was more profoundly reduced by combinations of cetuximab plus AZD5363 (control vs. cetuximab plus AZD5363, mean growth = 100.0% vs 25.00%, p < 0.0001) or everolimus (control vs. cetuximab+everolimus, mean growth = 100.0% vs 28.24%, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Taken together, these results indicate that RAS wild-type and PIK3CA mutant PDCs originating from CRC are considerably inhibited by treatment with cetuximab plus AZD5363 or everolimus, with downregulation of the AKT and ERK pathways. These combinations may be considered as new options for advanced CRC patients with wild-type RAS and PIK3CA mutation in the context of clinical trials.
Keywords: Colon cancer, cetuximab, RAS wild-type, PIK3CA mutation.