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Michael Offin

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    MA21 - Non EGFR/MET Targeted Therapies (ID 153)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Mini Oral Session
    • Track: Targeted Therapy
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      MA21.01 - Generation and Characterization of Novel Preclinical Disease Models of NSCLC with NRG1 Rearrangements to Improve Therapy (Now Available) (ID 2811)

      14:30 - 16:00  |  Author(s): Michael Offin

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides


      Chimeric proteins encoded by NRG1 rearrangements retain the EGF-like domain of NRG1, a HER3 ligand that triggers HER3-HER2 heterodimerization and drives tumor growth. Activating NRG1 fusions have been identified in a variety of cancers including lung, pancreatic, breast, head and neck, etc, and previous work by our group has shown that anti-HER3 antibody (GSK2849330) therapy was effective at inducing a durable response in a NSCLC patient with a CD74/NRG1-fusion. It is possible that targeting both HER2 and HER3 would be more effective than targeting HER3 alone given that HER3-HER2 dimerization is necessary for tumorigenesis induced by NRG1 rearrangements. However, this has not been explored extensively due to a paucity of well-characterized preclinical models of NRG1-driven NSCLC. We aimed to establish patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and cell line models with NRG1-rearrangements to evaluate signaling networks and the role of novel therapies for this recently identified oncogene.


      Approximately 30,000 tumor samples were evaluated for the presence of NRG1-fusions by targeted DNA and RNA sequencing (using the MSK-IMPACT and MSK-Fusion panels, respectively). Fresh tumor samples were collected and implanted into immune-compromised mice to generate PDX models and/or used to generate cell lines. Separately, NRG1-fusions were genomically engineered using CRISPR-Cas9 systems or by lentiviral transduction of cDNAs into immortalized human bronchiolar epithelial (HBEC) cells. RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to verify NRG1-fusion mRNA expression, whereas western blot analysis examined fusion protein expression and phosphorylation. Subsequently, cell viability following inhibition of HER2, HER3 and downstream signaling pathways was assessed.


      NRG1 fusions were identified in 24 patients (9 NSCLC); and we successfully generated two PDX models with corresponding cell lines from two NSCLC surgical specimens (2/2). One model harbors a CD74/NRG1 fusion whereas the second harbors a SLC3A2/NRG1-fusion. Using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing, we are introducing NRG1 fusions that were identified in NCSLC (CD74/NRG1, SLC3A2/NRG1, VAMP2/NRG1) into HBEC cells, and have generated a stable cell line with VAMP2/NRG1 fusion to date. In addition, we established a CD74/NRG1-positive model in HBEC cells using lentiviral transduction. Treatment of NRG1-fusion positive cells with small molecule inhibitors of HER2 (afatinib, neratinib, sapitinib) or trastuzumab inhibited growth, induced caspase 3/7 activity and blocked activation of PI3K and ERK signaling. Neratinib was more potent than other small anti-HER2 molecules. The PI3K inhibitor pictilisib inhibited growth of NRG1 fusion-positive cells as a single agent with little effect on non-tumor control cells.


      We generated novel NSCLC PDX and cell line models with verified NRG1 chromosomal rearrangements. In vitro studies show that targeting HER2 and PI3K effectively inhibits growth and induces apoptosis. Studies exploring the efficacy of additional agents targeting HER2, HER3 and PI3K alone or in combination using in vivo models are ongoing and results will be presented.

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