Resistance to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-targeted therapy in ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer has been reported, with the majority of acquired resistance mechanisms relying on bypass signaling. To proactively identify resistance mechanisms in ALK-positive neuroblastoma (NB), we herein employ genome-wide CRISPR activation screens of NB cell lines treated with brigatinib or ceritinib, identifying PIM1 as a putative resistance gene, whose high expression is associated with high-risk disease and poor survival. Knockdown of PIM1 sensitizes cells of differing MYCN status to ALK inhibitors, and in patient-derived xenografts of high-risk NB harboring ALK mutations, the combination of the ALK inhibitor ceritinib and PIM1 inhibitor AZD1208 shows significantly enhanced anti-tumor efficacy relative to single agents. These data confirm that PIM1 overexpression decreases sensitivity to ALK inhibitors in NB, and suggests that combined front-line inhibition of ALK and PIM1 is a viable strategy for the treatment of ALK-positive NB independent of MYCN status.
Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinaseantagonists & inhibitorsgenetics Animals Apoptosisdrug effects Biphenyl Compoundspharmacology Cell Line, Tumor Drug Resistance, Neoplasmgenetics Gene Knockdown Techniques Humans Mice N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Proteingenetics Neuroblastomadrug therapygenetics Organophosphorus Compoundstherapeutic use Protein Kinase Inhibitorspharmacologytherapeutic use Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1antagonists & inhibitorsgenetics Pyrimidinespharmacologytherapeutic use Sulfonespharmacologytherapeutic use Thiazolidinespharmacology Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays