Approximately 70% of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer present with late-stage disease and have limited treatment options, so there is a pressing need to develop efficacious targeted therapies for these patients. This remains a major challenge as the underlying genetic causes of ~50% of non-small-cell lung cancers remain unknown. We have recently demonstrated that a targeted genetic dependency screen is an efficient approach to identify somatic cancer alterations that are functionally important. By using this approach, we have identified three kinases with gain-of-function mutations in lung cancer, namely FGFR4, MAP3K9, and PAK5 (1). Mutations in these kinases are activating toward the ERK pathway, and targeted depletion of the mutated kinases inhibits proliferation, suppresses constitutive activation of downstream signaling pathways, and results in specific killing of the lung cancer cells. Genomic profiling of patients with lung cancer is ushering in an era of personalized medicine; however, lack of actionable mutations presents a significant hurdle. Our study indicates that targeted genetic dependency screens will be an effective strategy to elucidate somatic variants that are essential for lung cancer cell viability.
Citation Format: Shameem Fawdar, Eleanor W. Trotter, Yaoyong Li, Crispin Miller, John Brognard. Targeted genetic dependency screen facilitates identification of actionable mutations in FGFR4, MAP3K9, and PAK5 in lung cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer; 2014 Jan 6-9; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Clin Cancer Res 2014;20(2Suppl):Abstract nr A10.