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tyrosine kinase inhibitors, resistance, somatic genetics, intrinsic, copy number

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Multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have broad efficacy and similar FDA-approved indications, suggesting shared molecular drug targets across cancer types. Irrespective of tumor type, 20-30% of patients treated with multi-targeted TKIs demonstrate intrinsic resistance, with progressive disease as a best response. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify tumor (somatic) point mutations, insertion/deletions, and copy number alterations (CNA) associated with intrinsic resistance to multi-targeted TKIs. Using a candidate gene approach (n=243), tumor next-generation sequencing and CNA data was associated with resistant and non-resistant outcomes. Resistant individuals (n=11) more commonly harbored somatic point mutations in NTRK1, KDR, TGFBR2, and PTPN11 and CNA in CDK4, CDKN2B, and ERBB2 compared to non-resistant (n=26, p<0.01). Using a random forest classification model for variable reduction and a decision tree classification model, we were able to differentiate intrinsically resistant from non-resistant patients. CNA in CDK4 and CDKN2B were the most important analytical features, implicating the cyclin D pathway as a potentially important factor in resistance to multi-targeted TKIs. Replication of these results in a larger, independent patient cohort has potential to inform personalized prescribing of these widely utilized agents.

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Oncotarget, v. 8, issue 70, p. 115114-115127