Nindo Punturi, Wendy Leung, Joan Levy, Lee Zou, Gregory M. Cote, Dan M. Freed

Abstract B021: Assessing replication stress as an actionable therapeutic opportunity in chordoma

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Abstract Chordoma is a rare bone cancer with a high rate of disease recurrence and no approved systemic therapies. Tumor profiling and functional genomics studies suggest a significant number of chordomas are characterized by molecular alterations associated with increased replication stress, and a dependence on replication stress response pathways. We confirm here in preclinical models that chordomas exhibit a replication stress phenotype, which creates an actionable therapeutic vulnerability exploitable by induction of replication stress and/or inhibition of the ATR-dependent replication stress response. A panel of chordoma cell lines was treated with gemcitabine or the ATR inhibitor (ATRi) elimusertib (BAY 1895344). In a subset of cell lines, gemcitabine or elimusertib demonstrated low-nanomolar EC50 values. Upon treatment with the ATRi ceralasertib (AZD6738), DNA fiber assays revealed a mild decrease in replication fork speed and a significant increase in fork asymmetry in cells sensitive to ATR inhibition, suggesting possible fork stalling or collapse. Alkaline and neutral comet assays were performed to determine the presence of genome-wide ssDNA and/or dsDNA breaks, respectively, with orthogonal evaluation of H2A.X activation during S-phase to assess DNA strand integrity after ATR and DNA synthesis inhibition. In a panel of chordoma PDX models, striking differential sensitivity to ATR inhibition was observed. In sensitive models, elimusertib (50 mg/kg, po, bidx3) promoted 85-90% tumor growth inhibition, in contrast to resistant models, where elimusertib treatment had no effect on tumor growth. PDX models sensitive to ATR inhibition were also highly sensitive to gemcitabine, further suggesting gemcitabine induces an ATR-dependent replication stress response in chordoma models. Indeed, combining gemcitabine with ATRi revealed exceptional synergy in chordoma cell lines. Collectively, our data indicate that a subset of chordomas are characterized by intrinsic replication stress that can be therapeutically exploited through the synergistic activity of gemcitabine and ATRi. Citation Format: Nindo Punturi, Wendy Leung, Joan Levy, Lee Zou, Gregory M. Cote, Dan M. Freed. Assessing replication stress as an actionable therapeutic opportunity in chordoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference in Cancer Research: DNA Damage Repair: From Basic Science to Future Clinical Application; 2024 Jan 9-11; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2024;84(1 Suppl):Abstract nr B021.

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