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Tumor-derived cell lines as pharmacogenomic models to predict therapeutic vulnerabilities in hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous aggressive malignancy with low efficacy of current therapies at advanced stages. We integrated molecular and pharmacological profiling of a large panel of liver cancer cell lines (LCCL) to assess their clinical relevance as HCC preclinical models and identify new effective therapies and biomarkers of response. We performed multi-omic analysis including whole-exome, RNA and miRNA sequencing and quantification of 126 proteins in a series 34 LCCL coupled with a screening of 29 anti-cancer agents. Molecular profiles of LCCL and primary HCC were compared and we searched for molecular features associated with drug response. Our panel of LCCL faithfully recapitulated the most aggressive molecular "proliferation class" of HCC. Genomic alterations of the RAS-MAPK pathway correlated with trametinib sensitivity that was more potent than FGFR4 inhibitors in tumor cells depending on the FGF19/FGFR4 pathway. Moreover, we showed that FGF19 amplification was only functional in tumor cells that retained a hepatocyte differentiation program with expression of FGFR4, KLB and NR1H4 highlighting the complex interplay between the genomic and transcriptomic context in drug response. We also identified drugs/combination that could target efficiently the transcriptomic "progenitor subclass of HCC", as well as specific genetic contexts such as inactivating mutations in TSC1/TSC2 and TP53 associated with higher sensitivity to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and the AURKA inhibitor alisertib, respectively. LCCL represent relevant preclinical models for drug-biomarker discovery in HCC and enabled to identify molecular contexts linked with particular therapeutic vulnerabilities that may be useful to stratify patients in future clinical trials

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001004938 Illumina HiSeq 2000 Illumina HiSeq 4000 34
Publications Citations
Analysis of Liver Cancer Cell Lines Identifies Agents With Likely Efficacy Against Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Markers of Response.
Gastroenterology 157: 2019 760-776
Integrated Genomic Analysis Identifies Driver Genes and Cisplatin-Resistant Progenitor Phenotype in Pediatric Liver Cancer.
Cancer Discov 11: 2021 2524-2543