Cytotoxicity of combinations of the pan-KRAS inhibitor BAY-293 against primary non-small lung cancer cells

Transl Oncol. 2021 Dec;14(12):101230. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101230. Epub 2021 Sep 28.


KRAS is mutated in approximately 25% of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients and first specific inhibitors showed promising responses that may be improved by concurrent interference with downstream signaling pathways. Cell lines exhibiting KRAS mutations show specific sensitivities to modulators affecting glucose utilization, signal transduction and cell survival. Novel SOS1-directed inhibitors with a broader anticancer coverage such as BAY-293 and BI-3406 inhibit KRAS through the hindrance of SOS1-KRAS interactions. The aim of this study was to check the putative synergy of BAY-293 with modulators having revealed specific vulnerabilities of KRAS-mutated cell lines. The present investigation tested the cytotoxicity of BAY-293 combinations against a series of Osimertinib-resistant primary NSCLC cell lines using MTT tests and calculation of combination indices according to the Chou-Talalay method. The results show that BAY-293 synergizes with modulators of glucose metabolism, inhibitors of cellular proliferation, several chemotherapeutics and a range of diverse modulators, thus corroborating the chemosensitivities of cells expressing mutated KRAS. In conclusion, BAY-293 exerts cytotoxicity with a wide range of drugs against Osimertinib-resistant primary NSCLC cell lines. The administration of pan-KRAS inhibitors alone may be limited in vivo by toxicity to normal tissues but made feasible by its use as part of suitable drug combinations. This study shows that BAY-293 combinations are active against NSCLC cells not further amenable to mutated EGFR-directed targeted therapy and results likewise hold relevance for pancreatic and colon cancer.

Keywords: BAY-293; Cytotoxicity; Drug combination; KRAS inhibitor; Non-small cell lung cancer; Osimertinib.