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PTEN Is a Potent Suppressor of Small Cell Lung Cancer



Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) is a highly metastatic tumor type with neuroendocrine features and a dismal prognosis. PTEN mutations and PIK3CA activating mutations have been reported in SCLC but the functional relevance of this pathway is unknown. The PTEN/PIK3CA pathway was interrogated using an AdenoCre-driven mouse model of SCLC harboring inactivated Rb and p53. Inactivation of one allele of PTEN in Rb/p53-deleted mice led to accelerated SCLC with frequent metastasis to the liver. In contrast with the high mutation burden reported in human SCLC, exome analyses revealed a low number of protein-altering mutations in mouse SCLC. Inactivation of both alleles of PTEN in the Rb/p53-deleted system led to nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation. This study reveals a critical role for the PTEN/PI3K pathway in both SCLC and lung adenocarcinoma and provides an ideal system to test the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway inhibitors as targeted therapy for subsets of patients with SCLC.


The ability of PTEN inactivation to accelerate SCLC in a genetic mouse model suggests that targeting the PTEN pathway is a therapeutic option for a subset of human patients with SCLC. VISUAL OVERVIEW:

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