Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. MAPK activation via KRAS mutation is present in up to 30% of lung cancer patients. NSCLC patients with KRAS mutation is associated with poor prognosis and represents an unmet medical need. LY3009120, a pan-RAF and RAF dimer inhibitor which is in phase I clinical trial, was previously demonstrated to have anti-tumor activities in BRAF or RAS mutant tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Ramucirumab, a fully-human antagonist monoclonal antibody to human VEGFR-2 was recently approved as an anti-angiogenic treatment for several cancer indications including second-line NSCLC. Combination strategies in cancer including targeting both tumor cells and the surrounding stroma cells have been shown to be effective in various disease subtypes. In this study, the combination effect of LSN3074753 (a surrogate and an analogue of LY3009120) with VEGFR-2 inhibitor DC101 (a monoclonal antibody specific for murine VEGFR-2 and a surrogate for ramucirumab) were evaluated in KRAS mutant NSCLC models, including NCI-H2122 (G-12C), A549 (G-12S) and NCI-H441 (G-12V). LSN3074753 treatment alone resulted in 66.9% and 82.4% tumor growth inhibition in H2122 and A549 xenograft tumors, respectively; and 41.4% tumor regression in H441 xenograft tumors. DC101 treatment alone resulted in 64.5%, 75% and 102.2% tumor growth inhibition in H2122, A549 and H441, respectively. The combination of LSN3074753 and DC101 led to more significant tumor growth inhibition (87.2% of tumor growth inhibition for H2122, p<0.001) or tumor regression (16.3% and 51.5% tumor regression for A549 and H441, respectively, p<0.001) when compared to single agent treatment. The molecular mechanism was further investigated in H2122 and H441 tumor xenografts in terms of MAPK signaling and its gene signatures, tumor vascularization, cell proliferation and apoptosis. Treatment with LSN3074753 or DC101 alone reduced the tumor vessels and pericytes, but the combination treatment showed better effects. Similarly, the analysis of multiple cell cycle markers indicated that the combination treatment inhibited cell proliferation more than the single agent alone. Moreover, the combination effect of LSN3074753 with ramucirumab was also investigated in vitro, including endothelial cell sprouting, cord formation and tumor cell driven cord formation assays to further understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the combination benefit on different tumor compartments including tumor and stroma cells. Overall, combined inhibition of pan-RAF and VEGFR-2 enhanced both antiangiogenesis and antitumor effects, and the data support that combining a panRAF inhibitor with ramucirumab represents a promising strategy for the treatment of KRAS mutant NSCLC.
Citation Format: Wenjuan Wu, Julie Stewart, Constance King, Bonita Jones, Robert Flack, Susan Pratt, Randi Berryman, Michelle Swearingen, Diane Bodenmiller, Xi Lin, Mark Uhlik, Beverly Falcon, Anthony Fischl, Jason Manro, Ramon Tiu, Sudhakar Chintharlapalli, Bronislaw Pytowski, Shripad V. Bhagwat, Sean Buchanan, Sheng-Bin Peng. Combined inhibition of pan-RAF and VEGFR-2 mediates antitumor activity in KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) through enhanced inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and growth. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 930.