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Ref Type Journal Article
PMID (33595872)
Authors Hicks HM, McKenna LR, Espinoza VL, Pozdeyev N, Pike LA, Sams SB, LaBarbera D, Reigan P, Raeburn CD, E Schweppe R
Title Inhibition of BRAF and ERK1/2 has synergistic effects on thyroid cancer growth in vitro and in vivo.
Journal Molecular carcinogenesis
Vol 60
Issue 3
Date 2021 03
Abstract Text Mutations in the BRAF gene are highly prevalent in thyroid cancer. However, the response rate of thyroid tumors to BRAF-directed therapies has been mixed. Increasingly, combination therapies inhibiting the MAPK pathway at multiple nodes have shown promise. Recently developed ERK1/2 inhibitors are of interest for use in combination therapies as they have the advantage of inhibiting the most downstream node of the MAPK pathway, therefore preventing pathway reactivation. Here, we examined the effect of combined BRAF inhibition (dabrafenib) and ERK1/2 inhibition (SCH772984) on the growth and survival of a panel of BRAF-mutant thyroid cancer cell lines using in vitro and in vivo approaches. We found that resistance due to MAPK pathway reactivation occurs quickly with single-agent BRAF inhibition, but can be prevented with combined BRAF and ERK1/2 inhibition. Combined inhibition also results in synergistic growth inhibition, decreased clonogenic survival, and enhanced induction of apoptosis in a subset of BRAF-mutant thyroid cancer cells. Finally, combined inhibition of BRAF and ERK1/2 results in enhanced inhibition of tumor growth in an anaplastic thyroid cancer in vivo model. These results provide key rationale to pursue combined BRAF and ERK1/2 inhibition as an alternative therapeutic strategy for BRAF-mutant advanced thyroid cancer patients.


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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 thyroid gland cancer sensitive Dabrafenib + SCH772984 Preclinical - Cell line xenograft Actionable In a preclinical study, combination treatment with Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and SCH772984 synergistically inhibited cell growth of thyroid cancer cell lines harboring BRAF V600E in culture, and inhibited tumor growth in a cell line xenograft model (PMID: 33595872). 33595872