PI3K inhibitors in trastuzumab-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer cells with PI3K pathway alterations

Wei-Pang Chung, Wei-Lun Huang, Chun-Hui Lee, Hui-Ping Hsu, Wan-Ling Huang, You-Yu Liu, Wu-Chou Su

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The activation of the PI3K signaling pathway resulting from genetic alterations induces carcinogenesis and resistance to anticancer therapies. Breast cancer is a major malignancy that is associated with dysregulation of the PI3K signaling pathway. PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss occur in every subtype of breast cancer. PI3K inhibitors are being evaluated in breast cancer after the success of an alpha isoform-specific PI3K inhibitor in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. Some preclinical data indicate the potential for PI3K/mTOR targeting in combination with trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer with or without expression of the estrogen receptor. However, the role of this therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer with PIK3CA mutations and/or PTEN loss remains unclear. We examined three HER2-positive, ER-negative breast cancer cell lines to determine the efficacy of a novel alpha isoform-specific PI3K inhibitor in combination with trastuzumab. The results indicated that this combination was effective in PIK3CA-mutant or PTEN-deficient breast cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the expression of downstream proteins. PTEN loss by siRNA modulation in parental HER2-positive cancer cells with PI3K signaling pathway alterations could not confer resistance to alpelisib or GDC-0077 plus trastuzumab. We selected the CK-MB-1 cell line without alterations in the PI3K pathway to demonstrate that PI3K inhibitors plus trastuzumab represented a biomarker-specific treatment. In vivo effects of alpelisib plus trastuzumab were tested and confirmed in a mouse model, showing the combination strategy offered the best opportunity to achieve tumor volume reduction. With known safety profiles, this cytotoxic chemotherapy-free regimen warrants further attention as a biomarker-driven strategy for treating HER2-positive breast cancer.

頁(從 - 到)3067-3082
期刊American Journal of Cancer Research
出版狀態Published - 2022


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