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Tiantian Li



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    MA27 - Novel Drugs and PDX Models (ID 931)

    • Event: WCLC 2018
    • Type: Mini Oral Abstract Session
    • Track: Targeted Therapy
    • Presentations: 1
    • Moderators:
    • Coordinates: 9/26/2018, 13:30 - 15:00, Room 206 BD
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      MA27.03 - Multi-Omic Characterization of TKI-Treated Drug-Tolerant Cell Population in an EGFR-Mutated NSCLC Primary-Derived Xenograft (ID 13370)

      13:40 - 13:45  |  Author(s): Tiantian Li

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background

      Sixty to eighty percent of advanced stage lung adenocarcinoma patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutated tumors respond to first generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, cure is not yet achievable with any EGFR TKI monotherapy, as patients eventually progress due to acquired resistance. In vitro evidence suggests that minor populations of epigenetically modified drug tolerant cells (DTCs) may be important for tumor cells surviving TKI. We hypothesize that molecularly characterizing DTCs in vivo and comparing them to the untreated tumor in a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model may delineate mechanisms of tolerance that closely mimic those occurring in patients.

      a9ded1e5ce5d75814730bb4caaf49419 Method

      DTCs were produced via chronic exposure to erlotinib in a lung adenocarcinoma PDX harbouring an exon 19 deletion. Histological, genomic, transcriptomic (including single-cell RNA-seq), and epigenetic characterizations were performed on DTCs and compared to untreated baseline (BL) tumors.

      4c3880bb027f159e801041b1021e88e8 Result

      Compared to BL, DTCs exhibit decreased levels of proliferation (Ki67 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and increased expression of senescence/quiescence (p21) and anti-apoptosis (BCL-XL) immunohistochemistry (IHC) markers, while maintaining EGFR pathway signaling (pEGFR, pAKT, pERK, pS6 IHC). Whole exome-sequencing provides evidence that DTCs likely do not represent mutationally distinct subclones from the bulk tumor. Instead, DTCs exhibit a number of differentially expressed genes compared to BL tumors that are involved in cell cycle arrest, senescence/quiescence, differentiation, vesicles, and inflammation. Genes with epigenetic differences (chromatin openness and/or promoter methylation) are involved in similar cellular processes. A minor (<2%) subpopulation of transcriptomically-defined DTC-like cells in the BL tumors are very similar to the DTCs, supporting the hypothesis that DTCs may exist prior to treatment. A number of transcription regulators are found to have differential gene expression and epigenetic regulation as well as DNA-binding motifs found in regions of chromatin uniquely open in DTCs or baseline tumors. These transcription regulators are involved in cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation, and may play key roles in promoting DTC phenotype.

      8eea62084ca7e541d918e823422bd82e Conclusion

      In this specific EGFR mutant PDX model sensitive to first generation TKIs, DTC-like cells are found in the BL untreated tumors, and its resultant phenotype after exposure to TKI appears to be involved in cell cycle, differentiation, senescence/quiescence, proliferation and maintenance. PDX models may provide insights into therapeutic strategies to target DTCs, and further improve the survival of EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients.

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