Functional Mapping of AKT Signaling and Biomarkers of Response from the FAIRLANE Trial of Neoadjuvant Ipatasertib plus Paclitaxel for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Zhen Shi, Julia Wulfkuhle, Malgorzata Nowicka, Rosa I. Gallagher, Cristina Saura, Paolo G. Nuciforo, Isabel Calvo, Jay Andersen, José Luis Passos-Coelho, Miguel J. Gil-Gil, Begona Bermejo, Debra A. Pratt, Eva M. Ciruelos, Patricia Villagrasa, Matthew J. Wongchenko, Emanuel F. Petricoin, Mafalda Oliveira*, Steven J. Isakoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Despite extensive genomic and transcriptomic profiling, it remains unknown how signaling pathways are differentially activated and how tumors are differentially sensitized to certain perturbations. Here, we aim to characterize AKT signaling activity and its association with other genomic or IHC-based PI3K/AKT pathway biomarkers as well as the clinical activity of ipatasertib (AKT inhibitor) in the FAIRLANE trial. Experimental Design: In FAIRLANE, 151 patients with early triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) were randomized 1:1 to receive paclitaxel with ipatasertib or placebo for 12 weeks prior to surgery. Adding ipatasertib did not increase pathologic complete response rate and numerically improved overall response rate by MRI. We used reverse-phase protein microarrays (RPPA) to examine the total level and/or phosphorylation states of over 100 proteins in various signaling or cell processes including PI3K/AKT and mTOR signaling. One hundred and twenty-five baseline and 127 on-treatment samples were evaluable by RPPA, with 110 paired samples at both time points. Results: Tumors with genomic/protein alterations in PIK3CA/ AKT1/PTEN were associated with higher levels of AKT phosphorylation. In addition, phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) levels exhibited a significant association with enriched clinical benefit of ipatasertib, and identified patients who received benefit in the absence of PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN alterations. Ipatasertib treatment led to a downregulation of AKT/mTORC1 signaling, which was more pronounced among the tumors with PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN alterations or among the responders to the treatment. Conclusions: We showed that the high baseline pAKT levels are associated with the alterations of PI3K/AKT pathway components and enriched benefit of ipatasertib in TNBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-1003
Number of pages911
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

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