David B. Solit: Concurrent Loss of the PTEN and RB1 Tumor Suppressors Attenuates RAF Dependence in Melanomas Harboring (V600E)BRAF

Identifying the spectrum of genetic alterations that cooperate with critical oncogenes to promote transformation provides a foundation for understanding the diversity of clinical phenotypes observed in human cancers. Here, we performed integrated analyses to identify genomic alterations that co-occur with oncogenic BRAF in melanoma and abrogate cellular dependence upon this oncogene. We identified concurrent mutational inactivation of the PTENand RB1tumor suppressors as a mechanism for loss of BRAF/MEK dependence in melanomas harboring V600EBRAF mutations. RB1 alterations were mutually exclusive with loss of p16INK4A, suggesting that whereas p16INK4Aand RB1 may have overlapping roles in preventing tumor formation, tumors with loss of RB1 exhibit diminished dependence upon BRAF signaling for cell proliferation. These findings provide a genetic basis for the heterogeneity of clinical outcomes in patients treated with targeted inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Our results also suggest a need for comprehensive screening for RB1 and PTEN inactivation in patients treated with RAF and MEK-selective inhibitors to determine whether these alterations are associated with diminished clinical benefit in patients whose cancers harbor mutant BRAF.

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