KRAS is the most common oncogenic driver in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAC). We previously reported that STK11/LKB1 (KL) or TP53 (KP) comutations define distinct subgroups of KRAS-mutant LUAC. Here, we examine the efficacy of PD-1 inhibitors in these subgroups. Objective response rates to PD-1 blockade differed significantly among KL (7.4%), KP (35.7%), and K-only (28.6%) subgroups (P < 0.001) in the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) cohort (174 patients) with KRAS-mutant LUAC and in patients treated with nivolumab in the CheckMate-057 phase III trial (0% vs. 57.1% vs. 18.2%; P = 0.047). In the SU2C cohort, KL LUAC exhibited shorter progression-free (P < 0.001) and overall (P = 0.0015) survival compared with KRASMUT;STK11/LKB1WT LUAC. Among 924 LUACs, STK11/LKB1 alterations were the only marker significantly associated with PD-L1 negativity in TMBIntermediate/High LUAC. The impact of STK11/LKB1 alterations on clinical outcomes with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors extended to PD-L1-positive non-small cell lung cancer. In Kras-mutant murine LUAC models, Stk11/Lkb1 loss promoted PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor resistance, suggesting a causal role. Our results identify STK11/LKB1 alterations as a major driver of primary resistance to PD-1 blockade in KRAS-mutant LUAC.Significance: This work identifies STK11/LKB1 alterations as the most prevalent genomic driver of primary resistance to PD-1 axis inhibitors in KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. Genomic profiling may enhance the predictive utility of PD-L1 expression and tumor mutation burden and facilitate establishment of personalized combination immunotherapy approaches for genomically defined LUAC subsets. Cancer Discov; 8(7); 822-35. ©2018 AACR.See related commentary by Etxeberria et al., p. 794This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 781.
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.