bims-meluca Biomed News
on Metabolism of non-small cell lung carcinoma
Issue of 2020‒12‒06
five papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

  1. Nat Metab. 2020 Nov 30.
      In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), concurrent mutations in the oncogene KRAS and the tumour suppressor STK11 (also known as LKB1) encoding the kinase LKB1 result in aggressive tumours prone to metastasis but with liabilities arising from reprogrammed metabolism. We previously demonstrated perturbed nitrogen metabolism and addiction to an unconventional pathway of pyrimidine synthesis in KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant cancer cells. To gain broader insight into metabolic reprogramming in NSCLC, we analysed tumour metabolomes in a series of genetically engineered mouse models with oncogenic KRAS combined with mutations in LKB1 or p53. Metabolomics and gene expression profiling pointed towards activation of the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP), another nitrogen-related metabolic pathway, in both mouse and human KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumours. KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant cells contain high levels of HBP metabolites, higher flux through the HBP pathway and elevated dependence on the HBP enzyme glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase [isomerizing] 2 (GFPT2). GFPT2 inhibition selectively reduced KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumour cell growth in culture, xenografts and genetically modified mice. Our results define a new metabolic vulnerability in KRAS/LKB1 co-mutant tumours and provide a rationale for targeting GFPT2 in this aggressive NSCLC subtype.
  2. Sci Rep. 2020 11 30. 10(1): 20819
      The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between PET-CT derived tumour glucose uptake as measured by maximum standard glucose uptake (SUVmax) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG), nutritional risk as measured by the malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST), CT derived body composition as measured by skeletal muscle index (SMI) and skeletal muscle radiodensity (SMD), the systemic inflammatory response as measured by the modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS) and the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and survival in patients with lung cancer, treated with radiotherapy. In a retrospective cohort study, 119 patients were included in final analyses. The majority of patients were over 65 (86%), female (52%), had a performance status (ECOG-PS) of 0 or 1 (57%), were at nutritional risk (57%), were overweight (53%), had visceral obesity (62%), had a normal SMI (51%), had a low SMD (62%) and were systemically inflammed (mGPS 1/2, 51%). An elevated TLG was associated with sex (p < 0.05), TNM stage (p < 0.001), MUST (p < 0.01) and mGPS (p < 0.01). An elevated mGPS was associated with age (p < 0.05), NLR (p < 0.01), MUST (p < 0.01), and TLG (p < 0.01). On univariate survival analysis, TNM stage (p < 0.01), mGPS (p < 0.05), NLR (p < 0.01), MUST (p ≤ 0.001), Low SMD (p < 0.05), SUVmax (p ≤ 0.001) and TLG (p < 0.001) were associated with overall survival. On multivariate survival analysis MUST (HR: 1.49 95%CI 1.12-01.98 p < 0.01) and TLG (HR: 2.02 95%CI 1.34-3.04 p = 0.001) remained independently associated with survival. In conclusion, elevated tumour metabolic activity was associated with more advanced stage, greater nutritional risk, the systemic inflammatory response and poorer survival but not body composition analysis in patients with lung cancer. These results suggest that detrimental body composition is not directly determined by tumour metabolic activity but rather an ongoing systemic inflammatory response.
  3. Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 01. pii: S2211-1247(20)31433-9. [Epub ahead of print]33(9): 108444
      Concurrent loss-of-function mutations in STK11 and KEAP1 in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) are associated with aggressive tumor growth, resistance to available therapies, and early death. We investigated the effects of coordinate STK11 and KEAP1 loss by comparing co-mutant with single mutant and wild-type isogenic counterparts in multiple LUAD models. STK11/KEAP1 co-mutation results in significantly elevated expression of ferroptosis-protective genes, including SCD and AKR1C1/2/3, and resistance to pharmacologically induced ferroptosis. CRISPR screening further nominates SCD (SCD1) as selectively essential in STK11/KEAP1 co-mutant LUAD. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of SCD1 confirms the essentiality of this gene and augments the effects of ferroptosis induction by erastin and RSL3. Together these data identify SCD1 as a selective vulnerability and a promising candidate for targeted drug development in STK11/KEAP1 co-mutant LUAD.
    Keywords:  AKR1C1; CRISPR; KEAP1; LKB1; NSCLC; SCD1; STK11; ferroptosis
  4. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 30. pii: E3574. [Epub ahead of print]12(12):
      In the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown remarkable results. However, not all patients with NSCLC respond to this drug treatment or receive durable benefits. Thus, patient stratification and selection, as well as the identification of predictive biomarkers, represent pivotal aspects to address. In this framework, metabolomics can be used to support the discrimination between responders and non-responders. Here, metabolomics was used to analyze the sera samples from 50 patients with NSCL treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. All the samples were collected before the beginning of the treatment and were analyzed by NMR spectroscopy and multivariate statistical analyses. Significantly, we show that the metabolomic fingerprint of serum acts as a predictive "collective" biomarker to immune checkpoint inhibitors response, being able to predict individual therapy outcome with > 80% accuracy. Metabolomics represents a potential strategy for the real-time selection and monitoring of patients treated with immunotherapy. The prospective identification of responders and non-responders could improve NSCLC treatment and patient stratification, thus avoiding ineffective therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  immune checkpoint inhibitors; metabolomics; non-small cell lung cancer; nuclear magnetic resonance
  5. Br J Cancer. 2020 Dec 02.
      BACKGROUND: We assessed associations between metformin use and survival in a nationwide Norwegian cohort of lung cancer (LC) patients.METHODS: The study linked 22,324 LC patients from the Cancer Registry of Norway diagnosed 2005-2014 with the Norwegian Prescription Database. We estimated associations of pre- and post-diagnostic metformin use with overall survival (OS) and LC-specific survival (LCSS) using multivariable time-fixed and time-dependent Cox regression.
    RESULTS: Pre-diagnostic metformin use was not associated with improved survival in all patients. Nevertheless, pre-diagnostic metformin use was associated with better LCSS in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.79; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62-0.99) and in patients with regional stage SCC (HR = 0.67; 95%CI 0.47-0.95). Post-diagnostic metformin use was associated with improved LCSS in all patients (HR = 0.83; 95%CI 0.73-0.95), in patients with SCC (HR = 0.75; 95%CI 0.57-0.98), regional stage LC (HR = 0.74; 95%CI 0.59-0.94), and regional stage SCC (HR = 0.57; 95%CI 0.38-0.86). OS showed similar results. Analyses of cumulative use showed a dose-response relationship in all patients, patients with adenocarcinoma and SCC, and with regional and metastatic LC.
    CONCLUSIONS: Metformin use was associated with improved survival, especially LCSS in patients with regional stage SCC. Further prospective studies are required to clarify the role of metformin in LC treatment.