LKB1 Expression Correlates with Increased Survival in Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Chemotherapy and Bevacizumab

Laura Bonanno, Angela De Paoli, Elisabetta Zulato, Giovanni Esposito, Fiorella Calabrese, Adolfo Favaretto, Antonio Santo, Alessandro Del Conte, Marco Chilosi, Francesco Oniga, Gabriella Sozzi, Massimo Moro, Francesco Ciccarese, Giorgia Nardo, Roberta Bertorelle, Cinzia Candiotto, Gian Luca De Salvo, Alberto Amadori, PierFranco Conte, Stefano Indraccolo

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Purpose: LKB1 is a key sensor of metabolic stress, including hypoxia and glucose deprivation, two features of the tumor microenvironment exacerbated by antiangiogenic therapy. We investigated the role of LKB1 as a potential predictive marker of sensitivity to bevacizumab in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC).Experimental design: We retrospectively analyzed LKB1 expression by IHC in 98 samples from 125 patients with aNSCLC, including 59 patients treated with chemotherapy and 39 treated with chemotherapy plus bevacizumab. IHC intensity was recoded in two classes (negative/weak vs. moderate/intense) and correlated with outcome according to treatment arm. Patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDXs) were used to investigate mechanisms involved in preclinical models.Results: In the whole study population (125), median OS and PFS were 11.7 [95% confidence interval (CI), 9.1-15.3] and 6.7 (95% CI, 5.7-7.2) months, respectively. Differential impact of the marker on outcome of the 98 patients was highlighted according to the treatment. Patients with negative/weak LKB1 status did not have a statistically significant benefit from bevacizumab added to chemotherapy (HR for patients treated with bevacizumab: 0.89; 95% CI, 0.51-1.56; P = 0.6803), whereas patients expressing moderate/intense LKB1 and receiving bevacizumab had significant lower risk of death compared with those not receiving bevacizumab (HR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.10-0.64; P = 0.0035). Loss of LKB1 was associated with reduced AMPK activation in PDXs and increased tumor necrosis following bevacizumab administration, highlighting impaired control of the metabolic stress caused by this antiangiogenic drug.Conclusions: Our data hint at a possible predictive impact of LKB1 expression in patients with aNSCLC treated with chemotherapy plus bevacizumab. Clin Cancer Res; 23(13); 3316-24. ©2017 AACR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3316-3324
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Journal Article


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