Development of combination therapies to maximize the impact of KRAS-G12C inhibitors in lung cancer

Miriam Molina-Arcas, Christopher Moore, Sareena Rana, Febe Van Maldegem, Edurne Mugarza, Pablo Romero-Clavijo, Eleanor Herbert, Stuart Horswell, Lian Sheng Li, Matthew R. Janes, David C. Hancock, Julian Downward

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131 Citations (Scopus)


KRAS represents an excellent therapeutic target in lung cancer, the most commonly mutated form of which can now be blocked using KRAS-G12C mutant-specific inhibitory trial drugs. Lung adenocarcinoma cells harboring KRAS mutations have been shown previously to be selectively sensitive to inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) signaling. Here, we show that this effect is markedly enhanced by simultaneous inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) while maintaining selectivity for the KRAS-mutant genotype. Combined mTOR, IGF1R, and MEK inhibition inhibits the principal signaling pathways required for the survival of KRAS-mutant cells and produces marked tumor regression in three different KRAS-driven lung cancer mouse models. Replacing the MEK inhibitor with the mutant-specific KRAS-G12C inhibitor ARS-1620 in these combinations is associated with greater efficacy, specificity, and tolerability. Adding mTOR and IGF1R inhibitors to ARS-1620 greatly improves its effectiveness on KRAS-G12C mutant lung cancer cells in vitro and in mouse models. This provides a rationale for the design of combination treatments to enhance the impact of the KRAS-G12C inhibitors, which are now entering clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaaw7999
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number510
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes

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