Sensitizing Triple-Negative Breast Cancer to PI3K Inhibition by Cotargeting IGF1R.


Targeted therapies have proven invaluable in the treatment of breast cancer, as exemplified by tamoxifen treatment for hormone receptor-positive tumors and trastuzumab treatment for HER2-positive tumors. In contrast, a subset of breast cancer negative for these markers, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), has met limited success with pathway-targeted therapies. A large fraction of TNBCs depend on the PI3K pathway for proliferation and survival, but inhibition of PI3K alone generally has limited clinical benefit. We performed an RNAi-based genetic screen in a human TNBC cell line to identify kinases whose knockdown synergizes with the PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941 (pictilisib). We discovered that knockdown of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) expression potently increased sensitivity of these cells to GDC-0941. Pharmacologic inhibition of IGF1R using OSI-906 (linsitinib) showed a strong synergy with PI3K inhibition. Furthermore, we found that the combination of GDC-0941 and OSI-906 is synergistic in 8 lines from a panel of 18 TNBC cell lines. In these cell lines, inhibition of IGF1R further decreases the activity of downstream PI3K pathway components when PI3K is inhibited. Expression analysis of the panel of TNBC cell lines indicates that the expression levels of IGF2BP3 can be used as a potential predictor for sensitivity to the PI3K/IGF1R inhibitor combination. Our data show that combination therapy consisting of PI3K and IGF1R inhibitors could be beneficial in a subset of TNBCs. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(7); 1545-56. ©2016 AACR.

More about this publication

Molecular cancer therapeutics
  • Volume 15
  • Issue nr. 7
  • Pages 1545-56
  • Publication date 01-07-2016

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