Background: AZD9291 is an oral, irreversible, mutant-selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), which specifically targets both sensitizing and resistant T790M mutations. This compound has shown outstanding activity, in a phase I/II (AURA) trial. However, despite impressive tumor responses in T790M-positive patients, acquired resistance to this drug limits the benefit of this compound. Mutations at the EGFR C797 codon, located within the kinase-binding site, were very recently reported to be a potential mechanism of resistance to AZD9291 in T790M-positive patients.
Patients and methods: To identify potential mechanisms of resistance to AZD9291, we report here on two patients with resistant biopsy specimens that had been treated with AZD9291.
Results: We identified in two distinct cases, HER2 and MET amplification by FISH and CGH as a potential mechanism of acquired resistance to third-generation EGFR-TKI. Interestingly, this event occurred with complete loss of the T790M mutation. In one case, we observed a different molecular status at two biopsy sites (the T790M mutation at the primary site and wild-type T790M at the metastatic site with different pathways of acquired resistance to AZD9291).
Conclusion: Our observations suggest that T790M-positive and wild-type T790M clones may coexist at baseline. AZD9291 efficiently suppresses the growth of T790M-positive cells, but a population of wild-type T790M cells at baseline will mediate the development of resistance, here via a by-pass pathway activating either HER2 or MET.
Keywords: AZD9291; EGFR; HER2; MET; NSCLC; T790M.
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