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Ref Type Journal Article
PMID (22448344)
Authors Corcoran RB, Ebi H, Turke AB, Coffee EM, Nishino M, Cogdill AP, Brown RD, Della Pelle P, Dias-Santagata D, Hung KE, Flaherty KT, Piris A, Wargo JA, Settleman J, Mino-Kenudson M, Engelman JA
Title EGFR-mediated re-activation of MAPK signaling contributes to insensitivity of BRAF mutant colorectal cancers to RAF inhibition with vemurafenib.
Abstract Text BRAF mutations occur in 10-15% of colorectal cancers (CRCs) and confer adverse outcome. While RAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib (PLX4032) have proven effective in BRAF mutant melanoma, they are surprisingly ineffective in BRAF mutant CRCs, and the reason for this disparity remains unclear. Compared to BRAF mutant melanoma cells, BRAF mutant CRC cells were less sensitive to vemurafenib, and P-ERK suppression was not sustained in response to treatment. Although transient inhibition of phospho-ERK by vemurafenib was observed in CRC, rapid ERK re-activation occurred through EGFR-mediated activation of RAS and CRAF. BRAF mutant CRCs expressed higher levels of phospho-EGFR than BRAF mutant melanomas, suggesting that CRCs are specifically poised for EGFR-mediated resistance. Combined RAF and EGFR inhibition blocked reactivation of MAPK signaling in BRAF mutant CRC cells and markedly improved efficacy in vitro and in vivo. These findings support evaluation of combined RAF and EGFR inhibition in BRAF mutant CRC patients.BRAF valine 600 (V600) mutations occur in 10% to 15% of colorectal cancers, yet these tumors show a surprisingly low clinical response rate (~5%) to selective RAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib, which have produced dramatic response rates (60%–80%) in melanomas harboring the identical BRAF V600 mutation. We found that EGFR-mediated MAPK pathway reactivation leads to resistance to vemurafenib in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancers and that combined RAF and EGFR inhibition can lead to sustained MAPK pathway suppression and improved efficacy in vitro and in tumor xenografts.


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Molecular Profile Treatment Approach
Gene Name Source Synonyms Protein Domains Gene Description Gene Role
Therapy Name Drugs Efficacy Evidence Clinical Trials
Drug Name Trade Name Synonyms Drug Classes Drug Description
Gene Variant Impact Protein Effect Variant Description Associated with drug Resistance
Molecular Profile Indication/Tumor Type Response Type Therapy Name Approval Status Evidence Type Efficacy Evidence References
BRAF V600E colorectal cancer sensitive Erlotinib + Vemurafenib Preclinical - Cell line xenograft Actionable In a preclinical study, the combination of Zelboraf (vemurafenib) and Tarceva (erlotinib) resulted in improved inhibition of tumor growth in BRAF V600E mutant human colon cancer cell line xenograft models compared to either drug as monotherapy (PMID: 22448344). 22448344
BRAF V600E colorectal cancer sensitive Gefitinib + Vemurafenib Preclinical Actionable In a preclinical study, the combination of Zelboraf (vemurafenib) and Iressa (gefitinib) decreased the number of viable colorectal cancer cells harboring a BRAF V600E mutation in cell culture (PMID: 22448344). 22448344