Research Papers:

Non-V600 BRAF mutations recurrently found in lung cancer predict sensitivity to the combination of Trametinib and Dabrafenib

Amir Noeparast, Erik Teugels, Philippe Giron, Gil Verschelden, Sylvia De Brakeleer, Lore Decoster and Jacques De Grève _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:60094-60108. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11635

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Amir Noeparast1, Erik Teugels1, Philippe Giron1, Gil Verschelden1, Sylvia De Brakeleer1, Lore Decoster1, Jacques De Grève1

1Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Department of Medical Oncology, Oncologisch Centrum, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Correspondence to:

Jacques De Grève, email: [email protected]

Keywords: non-V600 BRAF, lung cancer, impaired-kinase, Trametinib, Dabrafenib

Received: October 08, 2015     Accepted: June 09, 2016     Published: August 26, 2016


Approximately half of BRAF-mutated Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) harbor a non-V600 BRAF mutation, accounting for ~40,000 annual deaths worldwide. Recent studies have revealed the benefits of combined targeted therapy with a RAF-inhibitor (Dabrafenib) and a MEK-inhibitor (Trametinib) in treating V600 BRAF mutant cancers, including NSCLC. In contrast, sensitivity of non-V600 BRAF mutations to these inhibitors is not documented. Non-V600 mutations can either increase or impair BRAF kinase activity. However, impaired BRAF kinases can still activate the ERK pathway in a CRAF-dependent manner. Herein, beyond describing a cohort of BRAF mutant NSCLC patients and functionally analyzing 13 tumor-derived BRAF mutations, we demonstrate that both types of non-V600 BRAF mutations can be sensitive to clinically relevant doses of Dabrafenib and Trametinib in HEK293T cells, in lung epithelial cellular model (BEAS-2B) and in human cancer cell lines harboring non-V600 BRAF mutations. ERK activity induced by both types of these mutations is further reduced by combinatorial drug treatment. Moreover, the combination leads to more prolonged ERK inhibition and has anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in cells harboring both types of non-V600 BRAF mutations. This study provides a basis for the clinical exploration of non-V600 BRAF mutant lung cancers upon treatment with Trametinib and Dabrafenib.

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