Patient stratification biomarkers that enable the translation of cancer genetic knowledge into clinical use are essential for the successful and rapid development of emerging targeted anticancer therapeutics. Here, we describe the identification of patient stratification biomarkers for NVP-BGJ398, a novel and selective fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor. By intersecting genome-wide gene expression and genomic alteration data with cell line-sensitivity data across an annotated collection of cancer cell lines called the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, we show that genetic alterations for FGFR family members predict for sensitivity to NVP-BGJ398. For the first time, we report oncogenic FGFR1 amplification in osteosarcoma as a potential patient selection biomarker. Furthermore, we show that cancer cell lines harboring FGF19 copy number gain at the 11q13 amplicon are sensitive to NVP-BGJ398 only when concomitant expression of β-klotho occurs. Thus, our findings provide the rationale for the clinical development of FGFR inhibitors in selected patients with cancer harboring tumors with the identified predictors of sensitivity.
Significance: The success of a personalized medicine approach using targeted therapies ultimately depends on being able to identify the patients who will benefit the most from any given drug. To this end, we have integrated the molecular profiles for more than 500 cancer cell lines with sensitivity data for the novel anticancer drug NVP-BGJ398 and showed that FGFR genetic alterations are the most significant predictors for sensitivity. This work has ultimately endorsed the incorporation of specific patient selection biomakers in the clinical trials for NVP-BGJ398.