EGFR-mutated lung cancers account for a significant subgroup of non-small cell lung cancers overall. Third-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are mutation-selective inhibitors with minimal effects on wild-typeEGFR. Acquired resistance develops to these agents, however, the mechanisms are as yet uncharacterized. In this study, we report that the Src-AKT pathway contributes to acquired resistance to these TKI. In addition, amplification of EGFR wild-type alleles but not mutant alleles was sufficient to confer acquired resistance. These findings underscore the importance of signals from wild-type EGFR alleles in acquiring resistance to mutant-selective EGFR-TKI. Our data provide evidence of wildtype allele-mediated resistance, a novel concept of acquired resistance in response to mutation-selective inhibitor therapy in cancer treatment.
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