Precision Combination Therapies Based on Recurrent Oncogenic Coalterations

Cancer Discov. 2022 Jun 2;12(6):1542-1559. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0832.


Cancer cells depend on multiple driver alterations whose oncogenic effects can be suppressed by drug combinations. Here, we provide a comprehensive resource of precision combination therapies tailored to oncogenic coalterations that are recurrent across patient cohorts. To generate the resource, we developed Recurrent Features Leveraged for Combination Therapy (REFLECT), which integrates machine learning and cancer informatics algorithms. Using multiomic data, the method maps recurrent coalteration signatures in patient cohorts to combination therapies. We validated the REFLECT pipeline using data from patient-derived xenografts, in vitro drug screens, and a combination therapy clinical trial. These validations demonstrate that REFLECT-selected combination therapies have significantly improved efficacy, synergy, and survival outcomes. In patient cohorts with immunotherapy response markers, DNA repair aberrations, and HER2 activation, we have identified therapeutically actionable and recurrent coalteration signatures. REFLECT provides a resource and framework to design combination therapies tailored to tumor cohorts in data-driven clinical trials and preclinical studies.

Significance: We developed the predictive bioinformatics platform REFLECT and a multiomics- based precision combination therapy resource. The REFLECT-selected therapies lead to significant improvements in efficacy and patient survival in preclinical and clinical settings. Use of REFLECT can optimize therapeutic benefit through selection of drug combinations tailored to molecular signatures of tumors. See related commentary by Pugh and Haibe-Kains, p. 1416. This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1397.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Oncogenes*