Mutant KRAS and c-MYC are oncogenic drivers and rational therapeutic targets for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Although tumor growth and homeostasis are largely dependent on these oncogenes, a few residual cancer cells are able to survive the ablation of mutant KRAS and c-MYC. By performing a genome-wide gene expression analysis of in vivo-derived bulk tumor cells and residual cancer cells lacking the expression of mutant KRAS or c-MYC, we have identified an increase in autocrine IGF1/AKT signaling as a common survival mechanism in dormant cancer cells. The pharmacological inhibition of IGF-1R reduces residual disease burden and cancer recurrence, suggesting that this molecular pathway is crucial for the survival of cancer cells in the absence of the primary oncogenic drivers.
Keywords: AKT; IGF1 signaling; KRAS; c-MYC; cancer dormancy; genetic engineering; mouse models; oncogenes; pancreatic cancer.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.