Effective therapeutic strategies are needed for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations that acquire resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) mediated by epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We investigate cell surface proteins that could be targeted by antibody-based or adoptive cell therapy approaches and identify CD70 as being highly upregulated in EMT-associated resistance. Moreover, CD70 upregulation is an early event in the evolution of resistance and occurs in drug-tolerant persister cells (DTPCs). CD70 promotes cell survival and invasiveness, and stimulation of CD70 triggers signal transduction pathways known to be re-activated with acquired TKI resistance. Anti-CD70 antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and CD70-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell and CAR NK cells show potent activity against EGFR TKI-resistant cells and DTPCs. These results identify CD70 as a therapeutic target for EGFR mutant tumors with acquired EGFR TKI resistance that merits clinical investigation.
Keywords: CD70; EGFR; NSCLC.
Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.