Deciphering the evolution of cancer cells under therapeutic pressure is a crucial step to understand the mechanisms that lead to treatment resistance. To this end, Herling CD et al. analyzed whole-exome sequencing data of eight chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients that developed resistance upon BCL2-inhibition by venetoclax. They report recurrent mutations in BTG1 (2 patients) and homozygous deletions affecting CDKN2A/B (3 patients) that developed during treatment, as well as a mutation in BRAF and a high-level focal amplification of CD274 (PD-L1) that might pinpoint molecular aberrations offering structures for further therapeutic interventions.
Herling CD, Abedpour N, Weiss J, Schmitt A, Jachimowicz RD, Merkel O, Cartolano M, Oberbeck S, Mayer P, Berg V, Thomalla D, Kutsch N, Stiefelhagen M, Cramer P, Wendtner CM, Persigehl T, Saleh A, Altmüller J, Nürnberg P, Pallasch C, Achter V, Lang U, Eichhorst B, Castiglione R, Schäfer SC, Büttner R, Kreuzer KA, Reinhardt HC, Hallek M, Frenzel LP, Peifer M. Clonal dynamics towards the development of venetoclax resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 20;9(1):727