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HER2 activating mutations are targets for colorectal cancer treatment

Kavuri, S.M., Jain, N., Galimi, F., et al.

The Cancer Genome Atlas project identified HER2 somatic mutations and gene amplification in 7% of colorectal cancer patients. Introduction of the HER2 mutations, S310F, L755S, V777L, V842I, and L866M, into colon epithelial cells increased signaling pathways and anchorage-independent cell growth, indicating that they are activating mutations. Introduction of these HER2 activating mutations into colorectal cancer cell lines produced resistance to cetuximab and panitumumab by sustaining MAPK phosphorylation. HER2 mutations are potently inhibited by low nanomolar doses of the irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors, neratinib and afatinib. HER2 gene sequencing of 48 cetuximab resistant, quadruple (KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA) WT colorectal cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDX’s) identified 4 PDX’s with HER2 mutations. HER2 targeted therapies were tested on two PDX’s. Treatment with a single HER2 targeted drug (trastuzumab, neratinib, or lapatinib) delayed tumor growth, but dual HER2 targeted therapy with trastuzumab plus tyrosine kinase inhibitors produced regression of these HER2 mutated PDX’s.

Citation

Kavuri, S.M., Jain, N., Galimi, F., et al. "HER2 activating mutations are targets for colorectal cancer treatment" Cancer Discovery (2015): 832–41