Cancer Management and Research | 2019
Mechanisms of resistance to a PI3K inhibitor in gastrointestinal stromal tumors: an omic approach to identify novel druggable targets
Background: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) represent a worldwide paradigm of target therapy. The introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors has deeply changed the prognosis of GIST patients, however, the majority of them acquire secondary mutations and progress. Unfortunately, besides tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, no other therapeutic options are available. Therefore, it is mandatory to identify novel molecules and/or strategies to overcome the inevitable resistance. In this context, after promising preclinical data on the novel PI3K inhibitor BYL719, the NCT01735968 trial in GIST patients who had previously failed treatment with imatinib and sunitinib started. BYL719 has attracted our attention, and we comprehensively characterized genomic and transcriptomic changes taking place during resistance. Methods: For this purpose, we generated two in vitro GIST models of acquired resistance to BYL719 and performed an omic-based analysis by integrating RNA-sequencing, miRNA, and methylation profiles in sensitive and resistant cells. Results: We identified novel epigenomic mechanisms of pharmacological resistance in GISTs suggesting the existence of pathways involved in drug resistance and alternatively acquired mutations. Therefore, epigenomics should be taken into account as an alternative adaptive mechanism. Conclusion: Despite the fact that currently we do not have patients in treatment with BYL719 to verify this hypothesis, the most intriguing result is the involvement of H19 and PSTA1 in GIST resistance, which might represent druggable targets.