Article

Genotype-Selective Combination Therapies for Melanoma Identified by High-Throughput Drug Screening

Departments of 1Pathology and 2Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Cancer Discovery (Impact Factor: 19.45). 12/2012; 3(1). DOI: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0408
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Resistance and partial responses to targeted monotherapy are major obstacles in cancer treatment. Systematic approaches to identify efficacious drug combinations for cancer are not well established, especially in the context of genotype. To address this, we have tested pairwise combinations of an array of small-molecule inhibitors on early-passage melanoma cultures using combinatorial drug screening. Results reveal several inhibitor combinations effective for melanomas with activating RAS or BRAF mutations, including mutant BRAF melanomas with intrinsic or acquired resistance to vemurafenib. Inhibition of both EGF receptor and AKT sensitized treatment-resistant BRAF mutant melanoma cultures to vemurafenib. Melanomas with RAS mutations were more resistant to combination therapies relative to BRAF mutants, but were sensitive to combinations of statins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. These results show the use of combinatorial drug screening for discovering unique treatment regimens that overcome resistance phenotypes of mutant BRAF- and RAS-driven melanomas.

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