Vanderbilt Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesFind out more...
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
James C. Bradford Jr. Melanoma Fund
ARTICLE ABSTRACTOver 60% of patients with melanoma respond to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy, but many subsequently progress on these therapies. Second-line targeted therapy is based on BRAF mutation status, but no available agents are available for NRAS, NF1, CDKN2A, PTEN, and TP53 mutations. Over 70% of melanoma tumors have activation of the MAPK pathway due to BRAF or NRAS mutations, while loss or mutation of CDKN2A occurs in approximately 40% of melanomas, resulting in unregulated MDM2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of p53. Here, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of over-riding MDM2-mediated degradation of p53 in melanoma with an MDM2 inhibitor that interrupts MDM2 ubiquitination of p53, treating tumor-bearing mice with the MDM2 inhibitor alone or combined with MAPK-targeted therapy.
To characterize the ability of the MDM2 antagonist, KRT-232, to inhibit tumor growth, we established patient-derived xenografts (PDX) from 15 patients with melanoma. Mice were treated with KRT-232 or a combination with BRAF and/or MEK inhibitors. Tumor growth, gene mutation status, as well as protein and protein–phosphoprotein changes, were analyzed.
One-hundred percent of the 15 PDX tumors exhibited significant growth inhibition either in response to KRT-232 alone or in combination with BRAF and/or MEK inhibitors. Only BRAFV600WT tumors responded to KRT-232 treatment alone while BRAFV600E/M PDXs exhibited a synergistic response to the combination of KRT-232 and BRAF/MEK inhibitors.
KRT-232 is an effective therapy for the treatment of either BRAFWT or PANWT (BRAFWT, NRASWT) TP53WT melanomas. In combination with BRAF and/or MEK inhibitors, KRT-232 may be an effective treatment strategy for BRAFV600-mutant tumors.