Silvia La Monica 1 , Daniele Cretella 1 , Mara Bonelli 1 , Claudia Fumarola 1 , Andrea Cavazzoni 1 , Graziana Digiacomo 1 , Lisa Flammini 2 , Elisabetta Barocelli 2 , Roberta Minari 3 , Nadia Naldi 3 , Pier Giorgio Petronini 1 , Marcello Tiseo , 3 , Roberta Alfieri , 1
4 December 2017
Osimertinib is a third-generation EGFR-TKI with a high selective potency against T790M-mutant NSCLC patients. Considering that osimertinib can lead to enhanced HER-2 expression on cell surface and HER-2 overexpression is a mechanism of resistance to osimertinib, this study was addressed to investigate the potential of combining osimertinib with trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) in order to improve the efficacy of osimertinib and delay or overcome resistance in NSCLC cell lines with EGFR activating mutation and with T790M mutation or HER-2 amplification.
The effects of osimertinib combined with T-DM1 on cell proliferation, cell cycle, cell death, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), and acquisition of osimertinib resistance was investigated in PC9, PC9-T790M and H1975 cell lines. The potential of overcoming osimertinib resistance with T-DM1 was tested in a PC9/HER2c1 xenograft model.
T-DM1 exerted an additive effect when combined with osimertinib in terms of inhibition of cell proliferation, cell death and ADCC induction in PC9, PC9-T790M and H1975 cell lines. Combining osimertinib and T-DM1 using different schedules in long-term growth experiments revealed that the appearance of osimertinib-resistance was prevented in PC9-T790M and delayed in H1975 cells when the two drugs were given together. By contrast, when osimertinib was followed by T-DM1 an antagonistic effect was observed on cell proliferation, cell death and resistance acquisition. In xenograft models, we demonstrated that HER-2 amplification was associated with osimertinib-resistance and that T-DM1 co-administration is a potential strategy to overcome this resistance.