Tumor-selective effects of active RAS inhibition in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Dec 4:2023.12.03.569791. doi: 10.1101/2023.12.03.569791.


Broad-spectrum RAS inhibition holds the potential to benefit roughly a quarter of human cancer patients whose tumors are driven by RAS mutations. However, the impact of inhibiting RAS functions in normal tissues is not known. RMC-7977 is a highly selective inhibitor of the active (GTP-bound) forms of KRAS, HRAS, and NRAS, with affinity for both mutant and wild type (WT) variants. As >90% of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cases are driven by activating mutations in KRAS, we assessed the therapeutic potential of RMC-7977 in a comprehensive range of PDAC models, including human and murine cell lines, human patient-derived organoids, human PDAC explants, subcutaneous and orthotopic cell-line or patient derived xenografts, syngeneic allografts, and genetically engineered mouse models. We observed broad and pronounced anti-tumor activity across these models following direct RAS inhibition at doses and concentrations that were well-tolerated in vivo. Pharmacological analyses revealed divergent responses to RMC-7977 in tumor versus normal tissues. Treated tumors exhibited waves of apoptosis along with sustained proliferative arrest whereas normal tissues underwent only transient decreases in proliferation, with no evidence of apoptosis. Together, these data establish a strong preclinical rationale for the use of broad-spectrum RAS inhibition in the setting of PDAC.

Publication types

  • Preprint