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Concomitant occurrence of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) and KRAS (V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) mutations in an ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase)-positive lung adenocarcinoma patient with acquired resistance to crizotinib: a case report

Henrik H Rossing, Morten Grauslund, Edyta M Urbanska, Linea C Melchior, Charlotte K Rask, Junia C Costa, Birgit G Skov, Jens Benn Sørensen, Eric Santoni-Rugiu
BMC Research Notes 2013 November 26, 6: 489
24279718

BACKGROUND: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive non-small cell lung carcinoma patients are generally highly responsive to the dual anaplastic lymphoma kinase and MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor crizotinib. However, they eventually acquire resistance to this drug, preventing the anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitors from having a prolonged beneficial effect. The molecular mechanisms responsible for crizotinib resistance are beginning to emerge, e.g., in some anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive non-small cell lung carcinomas the development of secondary mutations in this gene has been described. However, the events behind crizotinib-resistance currently remain largely uncharacterized. Thus, we report on an anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive non-small cell lung carcinoma patient with concomitant occurrence of epidermal growth factor receptor and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog mutations upon development of crizotinib-resistance.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 61-year-old Caucasian never-smoking male was diagnosed with anaplastic lymphoma kinase -positive pulmonary adenocarcinoma, stage T4N3M1b. Treatment with crizotinib initially resulted in complete objective response in the thorax and partial response in the abdomen, but after 8 months of therapy the patient acquired resistance and progressed. Biopsies from new metastases revealed development of epidermal growth factor receptor and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog mutations concomitant with the original anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene rearrangement and without signs of anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusion gene amplification or secondary anaplastic lymphoma kinase mutations.

CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first report of an anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive pulmonary adenocarcinoma, which upon emergence of crizotinib resistance acquired 2 new somatic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog genes, respectively, concomitant with the original anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement. Thus, these 3 driver mutations, usually considered mutually exclusive, may coexist in advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma that becomes resistant to crizotinib, presumably because heterogeneous tumor clones utilize epidermal growth factor receptor and/or V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog signaling to circumvent the inhibition of anaplastic lymphoma kinase-mediated signaling by crizotinib. The identification of new targetable somatic mutations by tumor re-biopsy may help clarify the mechanism behind the development of the acquired crizotinib resistance and pave the way for combined strategies involving multiple targeted therapies.

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