Introduction: Most clinically available small-molecule kinase inhibitors are multi-targeted and can inhibit multiple kinases. Our driving hypothesis was that one of these multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) would have antiproliferative activity against ROS1 translocated non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: We selected NSCLC cell lines--A549 (KRAS G12S), NCI-H3255 (EGFR L858R), NCI-H3122 (EML4-ALK E13;A20), and HCC78 (SLC34A2-ROS1)-to evaluate the antiproliferative effects of submicromolar concentrations of the multitargeted TKIs imatinib, sorafenib, erlotinib, and crizotinib.
Results: Imatinib and sorafenib were unable to significantly inhibit proliferation of the aforementioned cell lines. Erlotinib only inhibited EGFR mutated NCI-H3255, as expected. Crizotinib displayed dose-dependent inhibition of anaplastic lymphoma kinase translocated NCI-H3122 and also ROS1--translocated HCC78. The SLC34A2-ROS1 translocated HCC78 cell line had phosphorylated levels of ROS1, AKT, and ERK inhibited by submicromolar doses of crizotinib, and subsequently underwent apoptosis.
Conclusions: The ROS1-translocated HCC78 cell line was sensitive to inhibition by the multitargeted ALK/MET/RON/ROS1 inhibitor crizotinib. Preclinical data supports the clinical development of crizotinib for ROS1-translocated NSCLC.